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Oh knickers! Look what Amanda’s sent us...

PUBLISHED: 11:30 21 October 2010

Jill Toyn with the signed photo and knickers donated by TV star Amanda Holden for a charity auction in aid of Norfolk Lupus Group.

Jill Toyn with the signed photo and knickers donated by TV star Amanda Holden for a charity auction in aid of Norfolk Lupus Group.

Archant

When north Norfolk woman Jill Toyn wrote to Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden asking for a lot for a charity auction and ball she has organised on Saturday, she received a surprisingly “brief” response.

“I was really pleased to get a package in the post from Amanda – although I was very taken aback when I opened it and found a pair of signed knickers!” Jill explained.

The lacy undies, from London lingerie store Beautiful Bottoms, were accompanied by a signed photo of the actress and TV presenter, and Jill has had both framed.

“I have to say, they look fantastic,” she said. “And I’m hoping they’ll attract a lot of bids.”

Because her mother Fran has the debilitating disease lupus, Jill, who lives at West Runton and works as a financial services assistant at Sheringham, decided to organise the ball and auction at Sprowston Manor Hotel, near Norwich, to raise cash for the Norfolk branch of Lupus UK.

The national charity offers advice and support to those with the condition and their families.

“I know how the disease has affected our family, and I realised that people just don’t know 
how awful it is, so I wanted to raise awareness,” Jill said.

Lupus, an incurable genetic disorder of the immune system, causes extreme fatigue and weakness. Other symptoms range from severe mouth ulcers, rashes and joint pains to kidney problems, chest pains and seizures.

Fran was diagnosed with the disease in 1996 after suffering extreme, continuous joint pain 
and exhaustion for nearly two years.

She has since worked tirelessly to raise funds and awareness, organising events at her Sheringham home, manning a telephone helpline and taking on the role of chairman of Norfolk Lupus Group.

Also, she was instrumental in setting up a lupus information and support drop-in centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Two years ago, her efforts were rewarded when she received an invitation to one of the Queen’s garden parties at Buckingham Palace.

“I know my mum is desperate to carry on fundraising to help find a cure, but she is really struggling to do that at the moment, so I am hoping the ball will help,” Jill said.

Other celebrity lots include a signed DVD from Hugh Grant, a signed CD from comedian John Bishop and a football shirt signed by Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes.

The ball, which runs from 7pm to 1am, includes a three-course meal with bubbly on arrival, as well as a disco and live music from rock ’n’ roll band Porkys Hot Rockin.

Jill, who is hoping to raise more than £5,000, has also organised a raffle with donated prizes.

“More than three-quarters of the tickets have gone already, so I’m hoping to sell the last few. It should be a really good night,” she said.

The Norfolk Lupus Group ball and auction takes place at Sprowston Manor on Saturday from 7pm-1am. Tickets, at £45, are available from Fran on 01263 822396. For more information about the group visit www.norfolklupusgroup.co.uk


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