Paul’s fundraising efforts recognised

Paul Brett at the awards ceremony with BT chairman Sir Michael Rake (left) and Olympic diving silver medallist Leon Taylor (right)
Paul Brett at the awards ceremony with BT chairman Sir Michael Rake (left) and Olympic diving silver medallist Leon Taylor (right)

A FUNDRAISER from Eastbourne has made £75,000 for Great Ormond Street after convincing hundreds of celebrities to autograph playing cards.

Paul Brett hatched the plan ten years ago after deciding he wanted to do his bit for a good cause and the BT worker was this month named his firm’s fundraiser of the year in recognition of his efforts.

Together with friends and colleagues Richard Bonner, Lloyd Roberts and Colin Burbage, Mr Brett has spent his lunch hours, evenings and weekends writing to sports stars and famous actors asking them to sign one of the hospital’s own brand cards.

And he has managed to recruit some of the biggest names in showbiz, from Robbie Williams and Eric Clapton to Mark Knopfler and Madonna – as well as sporting heroes like Roger Federer, F1 racing stars and the last five British Prime Ministers.

Once signed each card is framed and auctioned online – resulting in the mammoth £75,000 total.

Mr Brett said, “When I came up with the idea I only thought I would be doing it for a couple of years but it has really taken off.

“We have had support from such a lot of people. The most one card has gone for was one signed by the American magician David Blaine which went for £8,000.

“The average tends to be about £4,000 and as well as the cards we also auction of other things.

“We have received a lot of help from both the women and men’s tennis tours and at the moment we are auctioning off a skirt signed by tennis star Ana Ivanovic. The tennis plays tend to sign the ace cards and they are always popular.

“We also organise treats for the children at Great Ormond Street, recently West End star Kerry Ellis, who is a big supporter of ours, went in to visit the youngsters.”

For more information visit www.starcards.org.