Antiques and collectables dealer Phil Mires, of Chertsey, has been inspired by his healthcare worker mum, who works at St Peters Hospital, to run an online charity auction in aid of the NHS.
Hoping to raise a four-figure sum from 75 hand-picked lots from his own special stock, Phil has nothing but admiration for his mum, who as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) is being redeployed to help out with the COVID-19 pandemic.
She is incredibly anxious and restless about what is going on, he revealed. Its not just the challenges at the hospital itself she has to contend with, she is also a carer for my nan (a widow in her late 80s) who suffers from dementia and has other underlying health issues. Unfortunately, my nans dementia is now at the stage where she can no longer carry out basic tasks for herself. It is all very upsetting.
Added to the frustration is that although Phil and his mum are part of a large local family, including another key worker, Phil and his relatives can do little to help.
Despite living locally, it is hard for other relatives, including me, to help my nan because she is high risk and in isolation for at least 12 weeks, so visiting her to offer support could put her at even more risk.
If I cant do that, at least I can run the online charity auction to raise money for the NHS, says 25-year-old Phil, who hit the national headlines* at the New Year for building a £350,000 online business selling antiques and collectables from scratch in five years, starting as a minimum wage, zero hours contractor.
Items on offer will include contemporary art, decorative ceramics, collectors toys and memorabilia.
One highlight will be a stunning bespoke dark grey wool coat worn by Emma Thompson at Maria Grachvogels 2013 London Fashion Week show and when accompanying her mother (the actress Phyllida Law) to Buckingham Palace to collect her OBE from the Queen.
The auction will start on Thursday, April 23 and last for ten days. Those interested in bidding can visit Phils website