Charles Hanson is heading into his garden shed to help Derbyshire cause close to his heart

Posted on 29/07/2020 in Press Coverage

My garden shed is being kicked back into auction action to help a Derbyshire charity close to my heart, the Tiny Tim Trust which helps special needs children and young adults, writes Charles Hanson

In April, shortly after the UK went into lockdown, I broadcast a live charity auction from my garden shed to raise money for the NHS.

I just felt I had to do something, and it’s what I know best. The fun and frenetic event was thrown together at speed but I was humbled by the response. We had some fabulous lot donations including a day out salvage shopping with TV’s Drew Pritchard, a portrait gifted by actor Neil Morrissey and a tour of Derbyshire’s Chatsworth House accompanied by the Duke of Devonshire.

We broadcast the event live on Facebook and Twitter as well as on our online bidding platform – and lots of people told me how much they enjoyed it. One said the marathon event was a bit like watching Comic Relief meets It’s A Knockout. You certainly never knew what was going to happen next.

Much to my delight it raised £36,000 for the NHS – even if I did almost set fire to my shed by trying to light a candle mid-broadcast.

As a man who normally does charity auctions all year round but has seen most events cancelled, I am deeply aware of how much charities far and wide have been affected by lockdown. Consequently, the NHS event was followed by two more online charity auctions, one which raised £18,000 for London’s Florence Nightingale Museum and another which gathered more than £7,000 for Creswell Crags Museum and Prehistoric Gorge on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border. So far, Hansons has helped raised more than £60,000 for charities in lockdown.

Now it’s Tiny Tim Trust’s turn - but I need your help to create some auction magic for this marvellous cause. It needs lot donations to help the event thrive. Ultimately, anything you donate will help special needs children and young adults throughout the county.

Tiny Tim Trust, which launched in 1994 and is run entirely by volunteers, provides equipment to enhance lives. Its volunteers are highly qualified professionals and specialists in child care who give their time for free. Consequently, all money raised for the charity goes to those in need. I’m proud to be one of Tiny Tim Trust’s new patrons and feel this is a perfect way to offer support.

Tiny Tim Trust spends £15,000 a year helping around 40 children/young adults. It aims to bridge the gap between what statutory services provide and what is realistically available. For example, it buys special buggies for children with mobility problems, sun and rain canopies, educational equipment, special clothing, sensory and outdoor toys, fencing to keep children safe who have no concept of danger, information technology devices, alarms and monitors for epilepsy sufferers and floor covering, beds and linen for children/young adults with multiple problems.

It’s gearing up for its big annual fundraiser on Friday, September 4 - its annual Charity Golf Day at Duffield’s Chevin Golf Club. It will be followed in the evening by The Tiny Tim Trust Shed Auction.

So, can you help? Tiny Tim Trust is in need of auction lots, raffle prizes and sponsorship for its golf day.There is also time to enter teams of golfers.

I hope you will rally round and spread the word. To find out more or donate items, please contact Tiny Tim Trust patron Peter Burgess. Email [email protected] or call 07908 948111.