Wales

Shirley Bassey dress in auction for Cardiff hospital

Dame Shirley Bassey in the dress going up for auction
Image caption Hey big spender: Dame Shirley Bassey in the dress which is up for auction

A leopard print dress worn by Dame Shirley Bassey is to be auctioned to raise money for the Children's Hospital for Wales.

The hospital's charity The Noah's Ark Appeal will be taking bids on the gown at a dinner next month.

Another Welsh star, Hollywood actor Matthew Rhys, will also be a guest on the night.

All proceeds will go towards raising the £7m needed to deliver the second phase of the hospital's redevelopment.

Members of the public unable to attend are also be able to bid now for the dress online before the event.

This is not the first time the Cardiff-born singer, who is a patron of the charity, has donated her dresses to raise money.

In 2003 she auctioned 50 gowns at Christies to celebrate a half-century in show business, which have included hits such as James Bond themes Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever, and Hey Big Spender.

The Noah's Ark Appeal was chosen as one of the charities to benefit and received £125,000 towards the first phase of the hospital's revamp.

In 2004, at a Diamonds are Forever ball in her honour, she spontaneously auctioned the dress she was wearing that evening for the charity.

The dress comes with an autographed picture of Dame Shirley wearing it and will be put up for auction on Friday, 8 April at the Copthorne Hotel in Cardiff.

Image caption Matthew Rhys, a star of Channel 4's US series Brothers and Sisters, is also lending his support

The first phase of the hospital's revamp included two 25-bed medical wards and one 16-bed paediatric cancer ward.

It cost £9m to deliver, with £4.5m provided by the assembly government and £4.5m raised by Noah's Ark.

The second phase aims to provide an open-sided MRI scanner so parents can sit with their children during scans as well as new equipment for the critical care unit and a hydrotherapy pool.

The £54.3m unit is being funded by the assembly government while its running costs will be met by local health boards and Health Commission Wales.

The Noah's Ark Appeal is also opening the auction of the dress to the public.

Bids can be registered at www.noahs-ark-appeal.org and outside bids must be in by midnight, 6 April to ensure entry into the auction.

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