Belfast Telegraph

Bidding begins for Manchester United icon's coat and Rory McIlroy hat as concerts boost cancer appeal fund to the tune of £4,000

By Aisling Scally

The musical pupils of one of Northern Ireland’s best known schools have drummed up more than £4,000 for the Belfast Telegraph’s Christmas Appeal.

Schools from across Northern Ireland have been getting behind our drive to help the CLIC Sargent Homes From Home Appeal through Christmas events, festive fun and fundraising collections.

Among them is the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, known as Inst, which raised an incredible £4,268 through two Christmas concerts hosted earlier this month.

This year’s concerts were a special occasion for the College Square East school as they marked the 25th anniversary of the first Christmas concert at RBAI.

Guests were treated to a variety of musical styles from classics to Led Zeppelin. The school’s jazz band played a set, followed by instrumental duets and solos, as well as pitch-perfect solo pieces by staff and pupils.

RBAI principal Janet Williamson said: “This was the 25th year anniversary of the Inst charity concert and I am pleased to say it was a roaring success. We are delighted to be able to donate over £4,000 to CLIC Sargent and the Homes From Home Appeal. It is a wonderful charity which does fantastic work in helping children and young people with cancer in Northern Ireland.”

Win: George Best's coat and help cancer charity

The Belfast Telegraph’s Christmas Appeal is aiming to boost the Homes From Home Appeal by £50,000.

Sporting heroes, celebrities and leading businesses have all contributed the sort of amazing lots that many would be thrilled to unwrap on December 25.

Bid the highest amount and you could own a signed Graeme McDowell golf club. Or what golf fan wouldn’t be delighted to get his hands on an Irish Open Golf hat and Irish Open Official programme signed by Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington?

And collectors and fans alike will be vying for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy up a coat once worn by footballing legend George Best.

Overall, Homes From Home needs to raise £3.7m so the |children’s cancer charity can build two respite homes close to |treatment centres at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and Belfast City Hospital.

Families of children undergoing treatment will be able to stay at the homely centres, alleviating the stress and cost of travelling to Belfast.

We're urging schools, businesses and all of our readers to dig deep on the final stretch of our campaign and help us reach our target of £50,000 by Christmas Eve.

Other schools who have come on board to support the Belfast Telegraph Appeal include Banbridge Academy which organised a dress down day earlier in the week, raising £1,000.

Earlier this month Millisle Primary School raised more than £300 through its school carol services. Also, Dominican College in Portstewart is holding its own festive dress down day tomorrow, in a final flourish to raise money.

Teresa Sloan, appeal director at CLIC Sargent, said: “We have had so much support from schools across Northern Ireland with many young people and teachers inspired by the stories they have read in the Belfast Telegraph.

“I would like to thank everyone who has got behind this important appeal, which will make a real difference to the lives of children and young people with cancer.”

Our Christmas Appeal online auction is running until midnight tomorrow so there’s still time to bag a unique gift for a loved one.

That's your lot

Lot 1

A golf club signed by one of Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell. What golfer wouldn’t be thrilled to tee off with a piece of kit from the former US Open champion?

Lot 2

Irish Open Golf hat and Irish Open official programme signed by Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke & Padraig Harrington, every one a Major winner.

Lot 3

A rare opportunity to own an item from the wardrobe of one of our sporting legends. Any George Best fan would be thrilled to don this jacket owned by the icon.

Lot 4

Two tickets to the CLIC Sargent Sports Ball on March 14 where you will enjoy a private meeting with hosts, cricketer Freddie Flintoff and boxing champ Barry McGuigan.

Lot 5

Relax in the ultimate in luxury with an overnight stay at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, with breakfast, dinner in Bar Boulud and bottle of wine chosen by the Sommelier.

Lot 6

Make headlines in Northern Ireland’s biggest selling paper — and get the real inside track on news, features and sport by spending a day in Editor Mike Gilson’s chair at the Belfast Telegraph

Lot 7

Young Apprentice star Maria Doran recently dazzled in a sequinned dress from Harrison Boutique at our Woman Of The Year Awards. Now you can own it!

Lot 8

You’ll be on a winner if you get these on Christmas Day — six general admission tickets for the Down Royal Racecourse Boxing Day meet. The going will be good.

Lot 9

What woman wouldn’t be made-up to get a bumper bag of goodies from Louise Redknapp’s Wild About Beauty range? The style icon has donated a fabulous array of products.

Lot 10

Say what you see — well, it’s Belfast comedian Roy Walker, host of TV’s iconic Catchphrase show, who is donating a signed T-shirt to our Christmas appeal.

Lot 11

Make like a supermodel — one lucky winner will have her hair styled by award-winning Michael Quinn, make-up done by Paddy McGurgan and then have the look captured by photographer Khara Pringle.

Lot 12

Tickets have been selling fast for the Girls Aloud 10th anniversary reunion tour. Desperate to see Nadine? We have four tickets for the highest bidder.

Lot 13

Trendy lifestyle clothing brand Thom Smalls are supplying the perfect gift for a teenage girl and boy — each will get a hoody, sweat pants and a T-shirt.

Lot 14

One of the most exciting Ulster XVs since 1999, they’ve had a thrilling run this season. What fan wouldn’t love to get his hands on our Ulster Rugby shirt, signed by all the team?

Lot 15

Ice, ice baby ... the current British Elite League champions and second in the table this year, the Belfast Giants have also found the time to sign a shirt for one lucky bidder.

Lot 16

His work is owned by stars like Madonna and Ronan Keating and now you can own this limited edition ‘Live Life’ signed Terry Bradley print, which he is kindly donating.

Lot 17

Photographer Bradley Quinn’s shots of Snow Patrol have won huge acclaim. Get your hands on some rock memorabilia:Bradley is donating one of these mounted images.

Lot 18

Always wanted to live like a rock star? One lucky person will get to spend an afternoon with local band The Answer, including a jamming session.

Lot 19

Dine in style, then learn to cook up a storm with a £50 meal voucher for The Mourne Seafood Bar and a voucher for two people for a lesson at Belfast Cookery School.

Lot 20

Start 2013 with a fab new look — beauHAUS will treat one lucky lady to a cut, style and colour plus a gel nails manicure at their new salon on Upper Arthur Street, Belfast

Lot 21

He loves his food so a good restaurant is on the menu when BBC star Stephen Nolan, host of the biggest show in the country, takes a winner and a pal out to dinner.

Lot 22

It’ll be the goal of every fan to get their hands on our signed Northern Ireland team shirt donated by the Irish FA. This prized item will be autographed by the squad that will face Israel in March.

Lot 23

The Irish FA is offering two places for kids to watch the Northern Ireland team train prior to their World Cup qualifying home game against Israel in March.

Lot 24

Win two tickets, courtesy of Wonderland Promotions, for Gerry McAvoy’s Band of Friends’ tribute to the late great Rory Gallagher at the Black Box, Belfast on December 29.

Lot 25

Win two tickets, courtesy of Wonderland Promotions, for Belfast singer songwriter Simon McBride, at the Black Box, Belfast, on February 2.

Lot 26

Win two tickets, courtesy of Wonderland Promotions, for Seventies band Doctor Feelgood’s concert at the Black Box in Belfast on March 26.

Lot 27

Galgorm Resort and Spa is offering its Paradise Lost day spa package for one lucky bidder. It includes the Thermal Spa Experience and Aromatherapy Cleopatra Bath

Lot 28

Launched by Belfast woman Nicky Kinnaird, luxury apothecary Space NK is donating products from their exclusive Beautannia bathing range.

Place your bid by emailing

And when you’ll know if you’ve been successful ...

  • The Christmas Appeal Online Auction will run in The Belfast Telegraph from 6am today until midnight on Friday, December 21.

As part of the auction there will be an online auction of 28 lots donated by a host of stars and businesses.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to CLIC Sargent Northern Ireland Homes from Home Appeal.

  • The prizes are as listed in the Belfast Telegraph and online at
  • Each prize lot will have a minimum reserve price and it will not be sold for less than this reserve.
  • CLIC Sargent, as the auction promoter, will have terms and conditions also.These are available by email from the charity upon request.
  • Bids can be placed by emailing Eimear McCooey (NI Corporate Fundraising Manager) will receive these bids and acknowledge by return email.
  • All bids will be collated from today until Friday, Dec 21, at which time the highest bidder will be contacted to inform them of their winning bid and payment arrangements will be made.
  • On receipt of payment the prize lot will be sent to the winner along with arrangements of any specific booking arrangements.
  • How to donate to the appeal

  • You can go online at
  • Or text CLIC04£ followed by the amount you wish to contribute to 70070
  • Or post cheques made payable to CLIC Sargent, to CLIC Sargent, Belfast Telegraph Christmas Appeal, 31 Bruce Street, Belfast, BT2 7JD. Credit/debit card donations by phone: 028 9072 5780

  • How to donate to the appeal

  • You can go online at
  • Or text CLIC04£ followed by the amount you wish to contribute to 70070
  • Or post cheques made payable to CLIC Sargent, to CLIC Sargent, Belfast Telegraph Christmas Appeal, 31 Bruce Street, Belfast, BT2 7JD. Credit/debit card donations by phone: 028 9072 5780

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