BRILLIANT gifts from Dame Shirley Bassey and Sir Tom Jones, as well as a brand-new garden constructed by the BBC’s Rich brothers are just some of the lots at the High Sheriff of Gwent’s charity auction next month.

High Sheriff Tim Russen thought up the idea of an auction halfway through lockdown, when the realisation of the impact of Covid-19 on Gwent’s charities became vividly apparent.

Reflecting on a couple of months of hard work, he is proud of 50 fantastic prizes which he hopes could raise tens of thousands for charities across the region.

At lot 12 is a pair of Dame Shirley’s Jimmy Choo shoes, signed by the Welsh icon herself.

“I thought it was a bit of a long shot but I wrote to her address in Monaco asking her to get involved, and I received a call not long after from her assistant saying the parcel was on its way with a message from Dame Shirley,” said Mr Russen.

“I’m no expert but I’m told the shoes are very expensive. I’ve been blown away by people’s generosity.”


At lot 14 is a garden design by Chelsea Gold Medal winning brothers Harry and David Rich, who currently appear weekday afternoons on BBC’s Garden Rescue.

“I emailed them, and not only did they come back and say they’d do it – they said they would love to be involved,” Mr Russen added.

All the brothers need are the garden dimensions and some photographs, and they have committed to transforming one Gwent garden.

Sir Tom has sent a signed photograph, a “Sex Bomb” T-shirt, and a “Dry Delilah” tea towel.

Of all those he spoke to about providing gifts, Mr Russen reserved a special mention for singing sensation David Essex, who has donated two tickets and agreed to meet the winners before his show at St David’s Hall in Cardiff next year.

“He has been brilliant and really has done his best to accommodate this within his busy schedule,” said Mr Russen. “I’m so grateful to everyone. Most have not only agreed to be involved, but have done so with great enthusiasm.”

To see all of the lots visit

The auction closes on September 14 at 5pm.