Local stamp collectors’ annual charity auction raises £3,500 for local hospice.

‘How much the price of a stamp nowadays?’ – the answer to that question is an astonishing £3,500 as far as St Andrew’s Hospice in Grimsby is concerned.

The hospice received a cheque for that amount from member of the Grimsby & District Philatelic Society after they had their annual charity auction on behalf of St Andrew’s at Grimsby Central Hall on Wednesday 5 December.

A presentation was made to Becky Darnell, Charity Fundraising and Campaigns Lead at the hospice, during the society’s regular meeting on Wednesday 6 February, also held at the Central Hall.

The annual auction is organised by Dave McMann, a volunteer at the hospice, and he collates stamp collections and other collectible items from across the world.

Dave painstakingly catalogues the items and produces a booklet that is made available to stamp collectors all across the country, as far away as the West Country and the South Coast.

And those collectors have come together to bid on over 360 items, raising the figure of £3,500 that will go towards the work St Andrew’s Hospice does with patients, carers and families in North East Lincolnshire.

Cumulatively, the society has now raised over £43,000 for the hospice, since their auctions began in the year 2000.

John Mileman, a member of the society, was also auctioneer on the evening and he spoke about the significance of the auction in the group’s annual calendar.

“We were the first group of our kind to hold a charity auction in the country,” he said.

“We were told at the time that it wouldn’t take off but, at our first auction, we raised £311 for the hospice.

“Now, 19 years later, we have raised ten times that and have contributed well over £40,000 to a charity that is so dear to many of our members’ hearts.”

Becky added: “It is the support of groups like the Philatelic Society that help keep the hospice running day-to-day – we really couldn’t provide the services we do to the local community without their help.

“It has been a fascinating insight into the vast amount of organising that goes into hosting a stamp auction and the value of all these different collectible items.”

The 2019 Charity Stamp Auction is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday 4 December with viewing from 5.30pm and the auction starting at 7pm. Venue TBC.

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