Burnham torchbearer sells Olympic torch for £153,100 on
Burnham-On-Sea Olympic torchbearer has defended her decision to
sell her official torch and uniform on eBay, which have been snapped
up for a huge £153,100.
Milner Simonds, pictured, was nominated as a torchbearer for her
work as a community gardener in social housing areas, and is due
to run with the flame through Dunster at 4.38pm today (Monday).
first reported here,
she took the controversial decision on Sunday morning to sell
her official Olympic torch and uniform on eBay to raise money
for the community gardening group The People's Plot after seeing
other torches selling.
auction ended at 10.33pm last night (Sunday) after attracting
163 bids and Sarah told Burnham-On-Sea.com that she was "overjoyed
and flabberghasted" by the amount raised.
invoice has been sent to the winning bidder for £153,100,
which we hope is not a hoax. Bids on eBay are legally binding
contracts, but we do have a number of second choice bids to fall
back on if required. This money will make a huge difference to
the work we do."
added: "I am thoroughly proud to be representing Burnham
in the torch relay, but rather than look at the torch for years
to come on my mantelpiece I have decided to auction it and put
it to long-term benefit for the community."
to get funding for community groups during the current financial
downturn is incredibly difficult and I see this as a super opportunity,"
added Sarah, who is Horticultural Programme Manager at Bridgwater
I saw one torch sold on eBay for over £3,000 yesterday I
started to think about what good this could do. I am astounded
and excited that by lunchtime today my torch had attracted bids
of over £7,000."
added: "I am dismayed that I am getting hateful messages
on eBay from people saying I should not be selling the torch.
They don't understand my motives."
was nominated for my environmental regeneration work with The
People's Plot as a community gardener, so I am just continuing
this. The money will give us an opportunity to run training sessions
and help people across the country. It will help hugely in difficult
want to create practical, long-term benefit from my brief involvement
with the Olympics."
work as a community gardener has seen her visiting hard-to-reach
groups in high density social housing areas across the UK where
she gets people out of their homes, meeting their neighbours,
growing fruit and vegetables.
would then tend the crops together, share the produce and Sarah
would invite local chefs into the gardens to cook - often outdoors
- with the participants, helping them to remove dependency on
ready meals and poor quality food. She did this on disused pieces
of land, creating allotments were once people dumped rubbish.
She also helps them with tackling issues such as neighbour disputes,
noise and isolation along the way.