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George Best Foundation supports Birmingham Children’s Hospital

August 16th, 2010

Children’s liver unit and L’Arche benefit from auction item

The Bar Library which is situated in Chichester Street in Belfast is a private library servicing all Northern Ireland barristers.

Each year the library holds a black tie gala dinner at which all monies raised are divided between two nominated charities. It is generally a well supported event, but no more so than in February 2008.

It was a couple of months before the event, that I was contacted by Jill Comerton, a successful barrister whose life had been turned upside-down by the dreadful news that her little boy Dylan who, at just eighteen months old had been diagnosed with a serious illness which necessitated an urgent liver transplant.

Luckily, the operation happened quite quickly in Birmingham Children’s Hospital liver unit. The operation was a complete success and it was immediately decided by the Bar Library that it would be the hospital together with L’Arche Belfast which would be the nominated charities for 2008.

L’Arche is an international organisation which works to create opportunities for people with learning disabilities. I am often approached by people and organisations asking for items for auction, but it is just impossible to help everyone, but speaking to Jill left me in no doubt whatsoever that this was a truly worthwhile project.

I offered three items for auction. A lovely book with all of the newspaper extracts covering George’s career, a George Best Ulster Bank £5 note and an order of service from George’s funeral on 3rd December 2006. I had to think long and hard about the latter as it was very special and they are obviously quite rare, but really, how could I not help such a worthy cause?

Our auction item opened the bidding and raised £1000 which was amazing.Sadly Norman and I weren’t able to attend the event as we were out of the country, but the evening was a resounding success and both of the Bar Library nominated charities benefited enormously. I am just so pleased that we were able to help in some small way.

Norman and I were delighted to meet Jill on Saturday 14th August at the final performance of Dancing Shoes-The George Best Story and were both delighted to learn that Dylan continues to do well following his transplant.