Two Charlies come up trumps for Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends

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David Fletcher (centre) looks on as Charles Hanson (left) and Charlie Ross (right) show off their Bedford Blues woolly hats they were gifted as a
David Fletcher (centre) looks on as Charles Hanson (left) and Charlie Ross (right) show off their Bedford Blues woolly hats they were gifted as a "thank you" for supporting the charity evening.

The Rotary Club of Bedford Castle has helped raise over £26,000 for Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends (BHC&F) thanks to a lively charity auction at Bedford Rugby Club and match funding from the Harpur Trust.

The ‘Two Charlies’ event last month (25 March) saw celebrity antique experts Charlie Ross and Charles Hanson come along to entertain the 240 guests with tales from their careers.

After spilling the beans on their favourite finds over the years, and some clangers that didn’t quite work out, they then got on to auctioning off experiences, events and gifts donated by people and businesses.

“Thanks to the generosity of the two Charlies, who gave their time without charge, as well as the support of donors including principal donor Old Road Securities Ltd., our guests, the Blues staff and the many local businesses who took advertisements in our programme, the event, which included a typically lively and highly successful auction, raised over £13,000,” said Rotarian David Fletcher who organised the event.

“This amazing sum will be match-funded by the ever-supportive Harpur Trust, bringing the total donated to the Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends to over £26,000.”

The event saw guests bid on everything from a stay at a holiday cottage to attending the filming of Bargain Hunt as VIPs.

(L to R) Vaughan Southgate, OBE DL, Chairman of the Charity Trustees, Amanda Brookes, Charity committee member, Charlie Ross, guest speaker, Debbie Inskip, OBE DL, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Charity, David Fletcher, Michael Liddle, both of the Rotary Club of Bedford Castle, and Charles Hanson, guest speaker.
(L to R) Vaughan Southgate, OBE DL, Chairman of the Charity Trustees, Amanda Brookes, Charity committee member, Charlie Ross, guest speaker, Debbie Inskip, OBE DL, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Charity, David Fletcher, Michael Liddle, both of the Rotary Club of Bedford Castle, and Charles Hanson, guest speaker.

“On behalf of the charity, I would like to say a massive thank you to David Fletcher and the Castle Rotary team for a wonderful evening,” added BHC&F chair, Deborah Inskip OBE DL.

“They organised a most fabulous event which everyone enjoyed immensely. The Two Charlies were excellent, most entertaining and such lovely people.

“Amy and the team at the Rugby Club were fantastic and so welcoming, they pulled out all the stops and always with a smile.

“Everything worked so smoothly and shows how much energy, hard work and attention to detail was given to all aspects. The evening has raised significant funds for the charity and to know that this will be match-funded by The Harpur Trust is truly appreciated.”

The Harpur Trust recently joined forces with the Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends to match fund the charity’s own fundraising efforts, the first time it’s given support like this.

Read: The Harpur Trust joins forces with Bedford Hospital Charity & Friends and brightens up paediatric A&E

The match funding started in October 2021 and will run until mid-July.

Speaking when the support was announced, Lucy Bardner of The Harpur Trust said: “The pandemic has underlined the Harpur Trust’s belief that the people of Bedford all have a part to play in improving life for all our residents, and a desire to do so.

“We hope this match funding scheme encourages people to realise that when we all get together, we can make a massive difference, starting with the amazing hospital we all rely on.”

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