The Magpas Air Ambulance unclaimed luggage auction took place at Slepe Hall, St Ives on Sunday 5th November. The charity, with the help of some amazing volunteers, auctioned off 277 bags on the day that had been left at Stansted Airport and in turn raised over £8,000 in a matter of hours.
People from Cambridgeshire and around the region came along to see what the event would entail and bid on a bag themselves.
Tony Pryor, the auctioneer that gave his time for free on the day said "Magpas Air Ambulance saved my friend's life. There's bound to be someone you know who requires Magpas' help at some point and I'm very happy to be a part of something so important in the local community. If I can use my skills to help such a vital cause, I'll always be very happy to do so!"
Magpas volunteer, Melanie and her sister Kerry from Sandy, joined in the fun on the day, ending up with 10 cases between them! Kerry explained, "I've got some money I wanted to donate to the charity and I've been meaning to buy a suitcase anyway, so this is just that with some extra fun! The cases are lovely and the stuff inside is just a bonus – if it doesn't fit or I don't want it then I'm just going to donate it back to the Magpas charity shops. It's a win win!"
The Mayor of St Ives, Cllr Phillip Pope, sums up the feelings on the day and why he continues to support the cause. "It is with such great pleasure that I have been invited here today to help out one of the most amazing and inspirational causes in the area. Magpas Air Ambulance really does change lives by delivering lifesaving treatment at the roadside and we are so fortunate to have this amazing service on our doorstep.
"I have selected Magpas Air Ambulance as one of my mayoral charities because I have seen the passion from all those who are involved. Whether it's the amazing medics, the dedicated staff or the bubbly volunteers (many of whom are former patients) the sheer love for this charity is infectious. Thank you Magpas, for always being there!"
The Magpas Air Ambulance luggage sales are proving to be such a success that the next one is already in the pipeline! Save the date: 19th May 2018.
Luggage ready for the auction
Magpas former patient Helen and her husband with Cllr Phillip Pope
Phil opened the auction on the day alongside Helen, who's emotive story spurred people to support Magpas on the day.
We'd like to say a huge thank you for everyone's help and kindness, you made the day such a success!
Including but not limited to: Sarah Webb from Stansted Airport for the luggage; Natalie, Diane and all the staff at Slepe Hall Hotel for the venue; PCCC Jason Ablewhite for the storage facilities in the run up to the event; Tony Pryor for being our auctioneer; Helen McMenamin-Smith for her powerful speech; the Mayor of St Ives, Cllr Phillip Pope, for opening the day; Chris Shannon and volunteers from the Rotary Voices, Rotary Huntingdon and Cromwell Branch and Simon Kingham, the chairman of SIFOM, for all their help on the weekend; Phil who did many runs in his van to pick up all the cases and all the amazing volunteers who helped everything run smoothly on the day! We couldn't have done it without you all! Thank you.