PETERSFIELD Save the Children branch has issued a plea for items to sell in an online auction that looks very likely to be its only fundraiser this year.

The Petersfield team is recognised as being one of the most successful in the country – during the charity’s centenary last year the team raised a massive £53,000.

Petersfield branch spokesman Prue Rushmer said: “What a challenge the past five months have been for us all.

“As adults, most of us can find ways to deal with what life throws at us.

“And although children have not generally suffered from Covid-19 directly, they have been scarred by losing parents and loved ones, carers, access to education and, all too often, basic safety.

“We felt there must be something we could do to help children here and in the wider world, so we have come up with a plan for an online auction.

“We are looking for donations, especially of good named china, jewellery, anything gold, silver or silver plate, military medals, walking sticks and quality glass.

“If you have any items like that in your loft or taking up space in your sideboard, please donate it.”

The auction on Saturday, September 12 will be at John Nicholson’s Auction House in Fernhurst; the auctioneers have supported the Petersfield branch since 2012.

Prue added: “They have been amazing supporters and have agreed to us submitting items for a general on-line auction.

“We won’t be charged fees and all our items sold will be printed in red in the catalogue – your gift has the potential to save a child’s life.”

Viewing of auction items will take place in the three days beforehand at the sale room.

As with other shops, a few people will be let in at a time to have a look at the lots.

It is hoped the event will be well supported and raise much- needed money to help children.

The plea comes as nationally the charity has seen a huge income slump this year.

Save the Children closed its 126 charity shops on March 18 indefinitely “until the danger from coronavirus has passed.”

This will cost the charity £900,000 a month in income, it said.

Despite this, and in response to the pandemic, the charity launched its biggest fundraising drive in its 100-year history, the Coronavirus Emergency and the Save our Education appeals.

A spokesman said: “Children in poverty, refugee camps and conflict zones may never return to school – especially girls who are now at risk from early pregnancy or child marriage.

“And as poverty deepens, not-at-school children may be forced to work to live; all over the world coronavirus is tearing children’s lives apart.”

For details about donating items, and the auction, email Prue at [email protected]