Flog It! star to get ball rolling at Seend
Paul Martin, presenter of the BBC’s Flog It! antiques show, will host a charity auction in Seend on Saturday night.
Mr Martin, who lives in the village, will be the auctioneer at a ball which will raise money for a severely disabled nine-year-old boy to travel to Hungary for treatment.
George Hutchings, nine, was starved of oxygen at birth, causing severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He is the grandson of Hilary Hutchings, an art teacher at Melksham Oak School, who lives in Seend.
George’s mum Anna Hutchings said: “My mother knows Paul and he said he can come, but he has to go to Cornwall so we’re doing the auction fairly early, at about 8.30pm.
“It’s a definite bonus and and it will be great to have someone who knows what they’re doing and will be cheeky enough to say to people ‘come on, I know you can afford a bit more than that!’”
As well as the auction of items including jewellery, a microlight flight, day passes for six at Center Parcs and signed books from Gordon Ramsay, Terry Pratchett and Michael Palin, there will be a three-course buffet, raffle and disco at the ball.
The family needs to raise £2,500 to cover a seven-week trip to the Peto Institute in Hungary, where George will undergo daily intensive physiotherapy. The cost still works out cheaper than visiting specialist treatment centres in the UK intermittently.
Ms Hutchings, a single parent and full-time carer for George, said: “The first time we went was in 2007 and I was very impressed with how intensive it was. George got a lot out of doing repetitive exercise every day and it helped me to know what to do with him and how to help him.
“We’ve been every year since, and the only way we can afford it is to fundraise.
“This is the fourth ball I’ve done, but the first in Seend and I have to give credit to my mother because she’s done most of it. The others have been held in Ipswich, where we now live.”
Last year’s event raised just under £4,000.
Any excess money raised above the costs of George’s treatment will be put towards the cost of a wheelchair accessible car.
Tickets are £35, to include the buffet and champagne on arrival. To buy a ticket, call Hilary on (01380) 828129.