St George’s Hospital festive fundraiser auction helped by South West London businesses

A Christmas fundraising auction for Tooting’s St George’s Hospital has received donations from businesses across South West London.

The public can bid for items including bespoke cakes, pet paintings and hot tub hires in the Time for Christmas auction held by the St Georges Hospital Charity, with the money supporting the work of the St George’s and Queen Mary hospitals.

Local businesses have embraced the festive spirit and donated goods and services to be sold in the auction, with £4,317 raised so far.

South West London Hot Tubs is a business that has provided a hot tub for two days as one of the prizes to be won in the auction.

Katie Robinson, 38, who runs the Worcester Park business with her husband, said they donated to the auction after being prompted last year by a customer whose 3-year-old daughter was treated for cancer in St George’s for a year and a half.

She continued: “We said well if you need anything like prizes for a charity event then please just get in touch.

“Her story basically really touched us, because we’ve got young children as well.

“And thinking that a three year old spent most of its life in hospital is just sad, really sad.”

She said the business started in February this year as her husband lost his job as a camera operator when the pandemic hit.

“We were very grateful because all of a sudden my husband had something to do during the day and a purpose basically, because I think that’s what he was missing – mentally and physically a purpose.”

Klaartje Smith-Dresselaers, 44, owns a Wimbledon-based silver jewellery making business, KlaarSmithDesign, and said St Georges approached her about donating to the auction.

“I thought it was really interesting, because from my workshop that I’ve got at home, I can see all the trauma helicopters approach St. George’s Hospital,” she said.

Smith-Dresselaers, who says she’s been treated by ‘wonderful’ St George’s staff after cutting her hand, got into jewellery-making after taking her mother on a course in the Netherlands for a moment to remember before moving to Wimbledon 11 years ago.

She continued: “The NHS and all their staff have done such a wonderful job trying to support everybody and get us through this pandemic.

“Everybody should do anything to support them. And if this is a way that I can do that, then that’s my small way of saying thank you.”

Edward Shortall, 41, also praised the NHS, having offered a day at one of three Edward James Salon sites he runs in Putney, Battersea and Balham, as part of the auction.

“My mum worked for the NHS – she was a GP. So I sort of have always had a strong affinity with the NHS and just how hard people work on the front line,” he said.

“We’ve always looked to support the NHS where we we have been able to over the pandemic. Through reopening, we gave away 100 haircuts to NHS workers.”

He continued that the location of the salons mean many of their clients are treated at or work in St Georges, and that two of them, one a doctor, prompted him to donate to the auction.

The auction closes at 8pm on 22 December, but the St George’s Hospital Charity have been taking other fundraising efforts through the Christmas season.

These include selling St George’s Christmas cards, Santa hats, and even tickets to carol concerts held on 20 – 21 December.

Featured Image Credit: St George’s Hospital Charity

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