The fierce competition in one of Birmingham’s most exciting charity schemes moved up a gear over the last week as the city’s Bentley dealership said it had received a sporting donation to the cause.
The Great Trade Up is a scheme in which some of the city’s biggest commercial names are raising money for the Kidney Kids’ Appeal at Birmingham Children’s Hospital by trying to trade up as high as they can from a single balloon.
And the Bentley dealership on the Fort Parkway stunned their rivals by announcing they had got their hands on signed shirts from cricket legends Andrew Flintoff and Sir Ian Botham.
They swapped their balloon for the shirts from regular customer Susan Broadhurst, of European Steel Stock.
Mark Hudson, the general manager of Bentley Birmingham, said of Ms Broadhurst and her family: “They are a good customer of our company and a high-profile family in the Birmingham area. They have always been very generous people and always supported local charities.
“Susan Broadhurst is one of our customers and she spoke to her son Daniel. Daniel had a signed Flintoff and Botham shirt and very kindly said we could have that.
“I’m really pleased, it’s got us off to a good start as it’s worth quite a lot of money and we will be able to swap it and continue to raise our target.”
One of Bentley’s close rivals in the race was the “Weightmans Wheeler Dealers”, from the city law firm.
Following on their trade last week with restaurateur Jaimon George of Asha’s Indian Bar and Restaurant, the Wheeler Dealers have exchanged the £40 dinner voucher for a case of Harvey Nichols Champagne worth more than £250.
Kevin Breese, the general manager of Harvey Nichols Birmingham, said: “We are delighted to have been asked to help raise awareness of such a worthy cause. As one of the leading retailers in Birmingham, it is important for us to support charities in whatever way we can – especially one as vital as this.”
The Wheeler Dealers have set up a Twitter account at www.twitter.com/wheelerdealers to track the progress of their trading campaign.
And construction consultancy Amey have also been busy, having traded the single ballloon gone from a solitary balloon to four tickets to a London show – by means of a Rubik’s Cube, a squash racquet and a game of squash with Children’s Hospital fund-raiser Fidelis Hynam!
The Great Trade UP is organised by Birmingham Children’s Hospital alongside BBC Radio WM to raise money for a new renal unit at the hospital. Every Monday the Birmingham Post will be publishing the BCH “Kidney Kids Index” showing a league table of the top performing companies.
The Great Trade UP lasts until May 15, and still has a long way to run. There is still time to sign up and play. An entry fee of £500 is required. To get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 333 8539.