Whalley jewellers prove they are diamonds '“ after raising £40,033 for charity

Staff at a Ribble Valley jewellers have proved they are diamonds '“ after raising an astonishing £40,033 for East Lancashire Hospice.
Special guests admire the jewellery. Picture by Chris Keller-Jackson. (s)Special guests admire the jewellery. Picture by Chris Keller-Jackson. (s)
Special guests admire the jewellery. Picture by Chris Keller-Jackson. (s)

Sarah Layton Jewellers, based in King Street, Whalley, raised the incredible amount by hosting a glittering ball and auctioning off unique and one of a kind pieces.

The £100 a head ball, held at the Stanley House Hotel, was attended by 160 people, many of whom were customers of the jewellers.

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Sarah Layton Jewellers, a family run business founded by parents Nigel and Gill, and daughters Leanne and Lauren, has been open since 2010.

Lauren Bottomley said: “The hospice is a cause close to so many people in our local area and receives no funding whatsoever – relying entirely on donations.

“So many people who walk through our door become more than customers, they become friends. We have heard first-hand of the love and care they have received from the hospice in recent years. It really is such a worthwhile cause.”

The ball was the first fundraiser held by the jewellers and took around 12 months to organise.

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Lauren added: “Our suppliers were incredibly generous and supportive of the event. We were overwhelmed with the donations we received – many items for our auction were completely unique or one of a kind.”

The event was sponsored by luxury Italian jewellery brand FOPE, who also donated an 18ct gold and diamond bracelet to the auction.

Award-winning jewellery designer Shaun Leane, renowned for his work with the late Alexander McQueen, also attended the event. He created a bespoke piece for the evening - an 18ct white gold pendant set with a 1.5ct tanzanite stone and diamonds - which sold for £10,000, alongside the signed sketches of the design.

Danish jewellery brand Georg Jensen also donated a unique prize - a two-night stay in Copenhagen and tour of their silversmithy – which is not open to the public.

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A bespoke bracelet, featuring the East Lancashire Hospice daisy, was created by Welsh jewellery brand Clogau. They donated 150 limited-edition sterling silver bracelets featuring a 9ct rose gold daisy, with 100% of the proceeds going to the hospice.

Lauren said: “Every single business or supplier we approached donated something. We tried to get items that were unique or limited edition. Things that are difficult to put a price on.

“We hoped the ball would raise around £20,000 – but to reach £40,000 was incredible. We were speechless and quite emotional on the night.”

Catherine Leech, community fundraiser at East Lancashire Hospice, said: “They have raised an amazing amount and have proved that they are real diamonds. They really did themselves proud and we are very grateful for all their hard work and the generosity of all involved.”

To purchase one of the 50 remaining daisy bracelets, priced at £45 each, contact the jewellers on 01254 822 062.