GeeWizz: meet Suffolk’s star fundraiser
- Credit: Archant
In the last 40 years Gina Long has raised almost £6m for charity – and the Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction is her most ambitious project to date.
In the last 40 years Gina Long MBE, founder of GeeWizz, has raised almost £6m for national and local charities. It’s an astonishing figure, which has helped countless young people with disabilities and life-limiting illnesses to live their lives to the full.
Based in Bury St Edmunds, GeeWizz was founded in 2015 and supports children and young adults with physical disabilities by funding bespoke, specialist equipment to enhance mobility and wellbeing. Proceeds from the Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction will enable GeeWizz to fund the redevelopment of a much-needed new playground at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy in Ipswich.
“When I’m asked why I do what I do, I literally think, why wouldn’t I do what I do….when we all leave this planet, I believe it’s important to have left it in a better place than when we arrived,” says Gina.
“Knowing everything I’m doing is helping make very poorly children, young adults and their families’ lives better…with the support we give needed now more than ever. I’m so lucky, I learnt far more about the important things in life, having met many extraordinary human beings, than I could ever express in a quote.
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“None of these projects are ever just one person and I’m fortunate to work with some amazing people – Patzi Shepperson OBE, Olivia Churchill Crystal Barber, Susan Rush and the brilliant team at Zest led by Judi Newman and Hannah Bloom. Working with John and Imogen Sheeran, who donated some fantastic memorabilia has been a joy and I must thank Ed himself for
donating the first lot and setting the bar so high.
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“We are indebted to so many people who have so generously supported us and send them our heartfelt thanks, including our long term supporter Guy Nicholls of Tru7 Group, our main sponsor, who has donated £100,000 and is sponsoring the groundworks and providing vital expertise.”
Preparations for the auction were already underway when the country went into lockdown in
March. As Gina explains, it made the need for such a fundraising event even more pressing.
“Never before has it been more vital for vulnerable children and young adults to be able to learn and play safely outdoors, which is why we feel that the playground
will provide an important legacy.”
How to bid
The Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction is hosted by online auction site thesaleroom.com, in partnership with auction house Lacy Scott & Knight, both of which have foregone their selling commission.For further information, including a full list of auction lots, to register to bid until November 8 or to donate an auction lot (up until November 1), visit www.edsheeranmadeinsuffolklegacyauction.com and follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates. #SuffolkLegacy