Cash in the Attic Star to lead Ely College auction to raise funds for Malawi project

A TEAM of students and staff from Ely College Sixth Form is attempting to raise �15,000 so they can take part in a charity construction project in Malawi next summer.

A Grand Auction will be held at the college to raise funds on December 1 with guest auctioneer David Palmer, from TV’s Cash in the Attic, Bargain Hunt and Flog It!

The team has so far accumulated �4,000 for Habitat for Humanity (HFH) through quiz nights, discos, sponsored head-shaving and cake sales.

This will be the third HFH project the Sixth Form has taken part in, following successful trips to Zambia and Romania.

Student Phil Kirby was aware of the college’s links to the charity and jumped at the chance to get involved.

He said: “When I heard that they were planning another one to Malawi, I thought I couldn’t miss out.

“Even though it means a lot of fund-raising the chance to make a difference in one of the world’s poorest countries is something I had to do.”

Most Read

Phil is under no illusions about the size of the challenge which awaits the team in a country where life expectancy is only 51 and 41 per cent of children are orphans.

He said: “We are going to be working on a project for orphans and vulnerable children, so I expect it to be tough both physically and emotionally.”

More than 50 lots are on offer in the auction, with a six day South African safari up for grabs.

Other lots include a football signed by the Manchester United team, a dinner for 8 at the cathedral with the Bishop of Ely and the chance to have a professional chef cook for you and your guests in your own home.

Fellow team member Eleanor Rhodes was invited to speak at a Littleport Rotary Club event about the project, and it was there that David Palmer’s involvement in the auction was discussed.

She said: “They suggested that David might be able to help us and that I should contact him – so I did and was amazed that he got straight back in touch to say he’d be delighted to.

“It is so kind of him and I know he will make it a really fun event.”

Doors open at 7 pm with the auction starting at 7.30.

Entrance is free and there will be a licensed bar.

For a copy of the auction catalogue visit

Anybody who would like to donate a lot should contact Mark Sirot-Smith on 01353 652818 or by e-mail

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter