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Saturday, 23 May 2015

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Ulverston businessman auctioning off shoes to raise money for South Africa concert

A BUSINESSMAN from Ulverston who has organised an international charity concert is hoping local generosity will help make a difference to some of the world’s most disadvantaged children.

David Gummers, who owns F Dickinson Footwear in King Street, Ulverston, admits he doesn’t know much about music but has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to shoes.

Despite his inexperience, he has organised a charity concert in Cape Town on May 30 and is hoping to make enough money to provide new shoes for more than 100 South African orphans.

Mr Gummers has visited Cape Town twice a year since he first went to South Africa in 1995.

It was on one of his regular trips that he met Natalie Johannes, a 30-year-old beauty therapist at the city’s Mount Nelson Hotel and he came up with the idea for the concert.

After hearing Miss Johannes sing at a party he offered his services as her manager.

Mr Gummers said: “After she finished I asked jokingly, but with my business head on, if she needed a manager.”

“It’s one of those things that just happens and as she keeps reminding me, I know nothing about music.”

But Mr Gummers pulled of an early coup by convincing the dean of St George’s Cathedral to allow Miss Johannes to hold her debut concert on its stage.

The pair decided that the money raised should go to the Baphumelele orphanage in nearby Khyleitsha.

Mr Gummers has done some work in the past with the charity’s founder Rosie Mashale.

He said: “I’m hoping, if everything goes according to plan, we will be able to give each child a new pair of shoes.

“It was Rosie’s idea, she knew I was involved in shoes and she thought it was a good idea because most of these children have never had a pair of new shoes.”

The booking fee for the concert will go towards repairing the roof of the cathedral, where the congregation is lead by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Ticket sales are already going well but Mr Gummers is hoping people closer to home will also be willing to chip in.

He is auctioning off a pair of Anatomic men’s shoes, with all profits going towards the children at the Baphumelele orphanage.

Anyone wishing to contribute is asked to email their bid to david@fdickinsonfootwear.co.uk, the winner will receive a pair of shoes in their size.


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