Couple’s appeal to help poorly children this Christmas

Nicky and Shane Swallow with some of the toys collected for the LGI toy appeal at Auction Outlet. (d603a446)
Nicky and Shane Swallow with some of the toys collected for the LGI toy appeal at Auction Outlet. (d603a446)

If the prospect of appearing on Cash In the Attic wasn’t enough to persuade you to raid the loft for potentially priceless junk, then maybe this will do the trick.

A new Morley-based auctioneering business - one of the first of its kind in the area - has already made tens of thousands of pounds from a plethora of second hand possessions, since it brought its first hammer down in September.

A 1920s wedding cart, a stone bench that formerly belonged to a millionaire’s mansion and a Captain Hook model that stood on Blackpool seafront in the 1970s are just some of the items currently in Auction Outlet’s storage centre on Baker Street.

Auctions take place every other Sunday with the original owner of the items taking a 15 per cent cut.

Shane Swallow, 37, who runs the firm with his wife Nicky said: “The number of people who’ve turned up to the auctions so far has been amazing. We’ve had people from as far away as Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire arriving.

“We auction pretty much everything you can think of - gold, silver, oil paintings and seaside teddy grabbing machines are just some of the things we’ve had in.

“We get lots of stuff from people who are moving house or from businesses that are clearing out.”

But with Christmas coming up, the couple are turning their attention towards a charitable cause close to their heart and are appealing for toy donations as they aim to support the children’s ward at LGI.

Nicky and Shane’s youngest child Molly, aged 10, was born with a bowel-affecting disability and has had to go through numerous operations at the unit over the course of her young life. It has prompted Nicky and Shane, who have three children together, to start collecting unwanted toys and playthings knowing that such gifts would be a source of comfort for children who are stuck in hospital over the festive period.

Shane said: “Molly spent her first Christmas in hospital and that was what really brought it home to us.”

Molly, who cheerfully persists in pursuing an active lifestyle despite her condition, is still a familiar face at the Infirmary as she returns for check-ups every few months. The family make a point of seeing the doctors and nurses to whom they are grateful for helping her through her time in hospital.

Nicky, 34, said: “Toys are such a vital part of the hospital ward. You’ve got kids in there hooked up to tubes and with nothing else to do so they need things to keep them entertained.

“The staff and the nurses in there are brilliant and we’ve decided that we decided really like to give something back because they do such a great job.”

Anyone wishing to offer a toy or to enquire about Auction Outlet services can contact Nicky and Shane on 07704 524 058.