EVER wondered what you can do with those handbags stuffed at the back of your wardrobe collecting dust?
Now there is a chance to put those neglected accessories to far better use in support of two local hospices.
A Handbags for Hospices event is being hosted by Lavant House School on June 20 to raise vital funds for St Wilfrid’s Hospice and Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice.
Dawn Sharpe works at Lavant House as a fundraising co-ordinator and, alongside colleagues, is organising the unique event.
Handbags for Hospices calls upon the public to donate their unwanted handbags to see them go under the hammer in a bid to raise funds for hospices in the area.
The school’s official charity is Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice and it has also decided to support St Wilfrid’s Hospice, another organisation close to its heart in the first Handbags for Hospices event in the area.
“We are really looking forward to working with St Wilfrid’s because obviously they do a very good job. We thought to ourselves we are based in Chichester and so are St Wilfrid’s and we really wanted to support a hospice on our own patch,” Dawn said.
“Charities are struggling as everyone is at bringing in revenue so everybody is thinking of ideas to ask people to support them. We thought we would bring this to Chichester. People get something for their money and everyone’s a winner.
“The person goes away with a nice handbag and the hospices get the profits.”
Dawn is hoping the uniqueness of the event will attract supporters from across the area to come along and bid for a range of handbags.
“I just thought what a great idea. St Wilfrid’s haven’t had this kind of event before and it is slightly different to any of the many events they have already established.”
TIME FOR A SPRING CLEAR-OUT
Dawn is urging everybody to get rummaging in their cupboards for any unwanted handbags and donate them for the worthwhile event.
“Please have a spring clear-out. Look at the handbag and think when was the last time I took it out and let someone else have a go, someone else may love it.”
Dawn said there is a sense of community spirit surrounding the event and all the pupils, organisers and those involved in making it happen are looking forward to June.
“We’re all working together, it’s fantastic team support between the two hospices, us and Handbags for Hospices. There’s great support about the whole project which is really great to see.”
Donations have already been coming in thick and fast, including signed handbags donated from A-listers Elizabeth Hurley and Kim Wilde.
“Having a celebrity bag is the wow factor. People do love it, they come and see it and touch it and put a bid in. We were absolutely thrilled. We want to have as many celebrities to help us as possible, we’re working on it.”
A whole host of different handbags will be on offer during the auction, ranging from designer handbags, items owned by celebrities and handbags from supermarkets and high street stores.
Dawn is appealing to the public to support the event and donate their handbags in aid of June’s event, where staff are hoping to raise as much money as possible.
“We’re just really hoping that Chichester ladies and men would like to join in. This is an auction for everyone.”
Julie Longman, community and events officer at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, said: “We are delighted and very thankful that Lavant House School chose us to be one of the beneficiaries of their Handbags for Hospices’fundraiser in June this year. It certainly sounds like a fun way to get lots of ladies together to raise funds for the hospice – I will certainly be popping along to ‘bag’ myself a bargain!”
Tickets for the event cost £10 for adults and £3 for under-18s. There will also be wine and nibbles on the night.
A donation bin can be found in the Observer’s reception at Unicorn House, Eastgate Square, Chichester.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Lavant House School on 01243 527211 or visit www.handbagsforhospices.com