TV antiques expert is set to broadcast a live charity auction in lockdown to help Britain’s NHS heroes fight coronavirus.
The popular auctioneer, a familiar face on TV’s Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip, decided he had to do something to help pressurised health service workers and Covid-19 patients battle the crippling pandemic.
Charles, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “Like everyone else, I’ve been shocked by the impact this terrible illness has had on us all. It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves. Our lives have been turned upside, the world is in turmoil and most of us are trapped in our own four walls. But at the forefront of it all, fighting to save lives every minute of every day, are our health service workers.
“Those of us in lockdown, the non-essential workers, are the lucky ones. We are not seeing the devastation on the frontline, the battle to steer chronically ill coronavirus victims back to health, nor do we have to witness loss of life on a daily basis.
“I wanted to do something to help and decided to stick with what I’m best at – auctioneering. On Friday, April 3 at 11am I’ll be holding my most important sale ever, a live charity auction to raise money for the NHS from my garden shed in Derbyshire. My man cave is finally coming into its own. I’ve been working flat out to get friends and celebrities from the antiques world to donate lots and hope to raise as much money as possible for the NHS.”
Charles kicked donations off with his own lot – two BBC Bargain Hunt golden gavels presented to him in 2004 and 2016, plus his own auction gavel, used to seal the deal on countless star lots for seven years.
He said: “I’m calling it The Golden Gavel NHS Charity Auction. All money raised will be donated to Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity which covers five hospitals operating in Derby, Burton, Tamworth and Lichfield. They have launched a Covid-19 appeal which anyone can donate to and I would urge people across the country to see what they can do to raise money for NHS charities on their patch.
Hansons salerooms in Derbyshire, Bishton Hall in Staffordshire and London went into lockdown on Monday, March 23 – just a few hours before prime minister Boris Johnson ordered a national shutdown.
Charles said: “I launched my business in 2005 and built it up from scratch from my bedroom, so it felt surreal to have to shut our auction centres. But health had to come first. Now my garden shed is my new saleroom."
Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity welcomed Charles Hanson's efforts to aid their cause. A spokesperson said: “Our NHS needs support now more than ever. Our charity wants to be able to provide each and every ward, clinic, minor injuries unit and accident and emergency centre with whatever they need to get them through the immense strain that the coronavirus is putting them under”.
How to bid and take part
The Golden Gavel NHS Charity Auction will take place on Friday, April 3 from 11am. It will be broadcast live through Hansons’ online bidding platform – www.hansonslive.co.uk. There will be no bidding fees thanks to the generosity of service provider Bidpath, which has also donated two Derby County hospitality tickets to the charity auction.
If you simply want to enjoy the TV show-style auction, it will also be broadcast on Charles Hanson’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/charles.hanson.9803 - and on his Twitter account @HansonsAuctions
During the pandemic, Charles will be doing Facebook live shows every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11am and plans to showcase the NHS auction lots ahead of the sale on Wednesday, April 1, from 11am.
To donate directly to Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity, please visit: https://dbhc.org.uk/covid-19-appeal/.
To find out more about the NHS auction, or to donate a lot, email [email protected] or [email protected]