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Biplane and jet flights to go under the charity hammer

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A RETURN private-jet trip to London with lunch in the capital and a recording session in Gilbert O’Sullivan’s studio at his home in Jersey are just some of the lots up for grabs at this year’s Christmas Charity Auction.

Fiona Walker will present the Christmas Charity Auction alongside regulars from Channel 103

The radio auction will take place for a 34th year on Sunday, in aid of the Jersey Christmas Appeal.

The wider appeal, which was started by the Evening Post when Queen Victoria was still on the throne in 1897, is now in its 120th year. It later became known as the Joint Jersey Christmas Appeal and three years ago, it was renamed the Jersey Christmas Appeal.

Last year the auction which was broadcast on BBC Radio Jersey, raised in excess of £67,000 and this year it will run on Channel 103 from 9 am to 2 pm. Fiona Walker will anchor the programme, working with co-presenters from Channel 103 during the show.

‘We’ve got 200 lots as it stands, plus 14 luxury lots including a private jet trip to London and a flight in David Brown’s biplane,’ said Mrs Walker, who used to organise the auction during her 13-year career with the BBC and has co-presented it since 2014.

‘Ordinarily you can’t just say, “I think I’ll have a trip in a biplane” and go and buy one, so this is an exclusive opportunity and David Brown is a great pilot. I know a few people who have got their eyes on the Porsche driving experience at Silverstone.

‘There’s fun things at the other end of the scale too – someone’s donated a hamper of confectionary and someone else has given us a week’s boarding for a rabbit or a guinea pig. Things like that really make the auction fun.’

She added: ‘There’s a connection between the people who are giving and helping, the people buying and those in need at Christmas time who receive [hampers and vouchers] from the charity at the end of it.’

Bidding for the radio auction, which began online last week, will continue via the official website through to Sunday, when people will also be able to phone in to bid.

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Lots will be auctioned in batches of 25 every half an hour on the day, with the JEP’s accounts office being turned into the auction call room staffed by volunteers from Rotary Club de la Manche. The JEP’s training room will also be transformed into the Pledge a Wedge call room.

‘For every £10 “wedge” you pledge, you get one chance to win a prize,’ Mrs Walker added. ‘It starts off as a weekend away, but the more money that comes in, the better the prize gets. Last year it ended up being a week in the Maldives.’

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