Burnham torch bearer defends decision to sell Olympic torch on
Burnham-On-Sea Olympic torch bearer has today defended her decision
to sell her torch on auction website eBay.
Milner Simonds, pictured, was nominated for her work as a community
gardener in high-density social housing areas, and is due to run
with the flame through Dunster at 4.38pm on Monday.
she has taken the controversial decision to sell her official
Olympic torch and uniform on eBay to raise money for community
gardening group The People's Plot.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com today: "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.