"If I had more space I'd move it in tomorrow - but I've downsized!"
Mandy Squire, former N-Vision employee
Fancy moving a house INTO your home in time for Christmas – to help local sight loss support charity N-Vision, the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Blind Society?
One previous owner/interior designer, all fittings and fixtures included. Plus, several sitting tenants, stylishly clad from yesteryear, including one with a tendency to slide off the chair and sprawl in an ungainly fashion whenever a toddler visits. We’re blaming the gin bottle on the dining room table… or the bottle tombola at the charity's Christmas Fair.
This magnificent home in miniature is the ultimate Des Res for dollies and has been viewed 1300 times on the charity’s Facebook @nvisionnw account.
It went up for auction at the charity’s Christmas Fair on Saturday. Sadly, none of the sealed bid offers received reached the £100 reserve price so it was withdrawn from the market. Temporarily.
As with any house sale, location, location, location is all important and the house had been displayed in a lounge adjoining the Low Vision Centre – plugged into one of the few sockets available – and ended up flanked by so many visitors chilling out over cuppas and mince pies that only the most determined toddlers could crawl through… and they don’t generally have £100 pocket money to spend.
Former N-Vision Low Vision Centre worker Mandy Squire, who’s recently downsized her own property, also dropped in to view the house, and said: “It is beautiful. If I had more space, I’d move it in tomorrow. I’d say it was worth several hundred pounds – and the Americans would go crazy for it.”
The house, one of the highlights of the fair, was donated via N-Vision’s charity shop at Highfield Road, South Shore, which celebrated its 21st anniversary earlier this year.
Shop manager Mags Evans said: “A local lady – I think in her sixties - donated it, and said it had been her sister’s project, a real labour of love. They have kept another one but decided to donate this to charity. Our handyman went to pick It up and said it was absolutely magnificent. We thought of having it as the centrepiece of our Christmas window display, with snow on the roof, but it’s quite big,”
The dolls’ house is now back on the market, available to view at the charity, by calling estate agent/finance officer Trina Parkinson on 01253 403091.
“We’re hoping it gets a lovely home by Christmas.”
The fair itself raised £2159 with a further boost to come from Christmas raffle ticket sales (currently £108) and with £1015 from other raffle income, bringing the grand total to just shy of £3280.
A spokesperson said: “We’d set ourselves the target of £4k but it proved a bit much in just three hours – but this was still a cracker of a Christmas fair.”
Much of the craftwork on sale was created by care workers and residents at the Princess Alexandra Home. Residents of the home and clients of the charity also attend Urban Organic CiC’s ‘garden gang’ sessions outside in the grounds of N-Vision and had helped craft the wooden reindeer – which proved so popular they almost flew out the building. The event was supported by Beaverbrooks, Complete Catering, Jilly Tropic, G-Line Holidays, Urban Organic and others who provided prizes, stalls and other donations. Plus, Santa!
· HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex, recently visited the charity as a global champion of eradicating avoidable sight loss. She was particularly taken with the recycling and craft making sessions at the Princess Alexandra Home, met clients, volunteers and teams, and also took part in a Talking Newspaper broadcast.
· The charity was established in Blackpool in 1910. The Talking Newspaper, featuring snippets of news from The Gazette and allied weeklies and other publications, read by vounteers, and free to visually impaired subscribers, is now 43 years old.
· N-Vision supports 2500 people living with sight loss across the three local boroughs – and also has a residential home.
· Services include eye clinic liaison, low vision assessments, digital coaching and tech training, sight loss support group, information sessions, visual awareness training, low vision centre aid and appliances, community services, café clubs and more.
· To contact the Low Vision Centre/Community Services team, led by Maria Kirkland, call 01253 362696.