PARTING WITH a wardrobe full of exquisite designer gowns and might seem like The Closest Thing to Crazy a girl can do.
Perhaps fitting then, that world-famous musician Katie Melua’s actions echo the words of one of her biggest hits as she prepares to sell off some of her prized clothing collection to help the plight of sick children across South Yorkshire.
The solo singer is giving up some of her best-loved garments in an online auction to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.
Katie has been a regular visitor to the hospital since tying the knot with Doncaster-born former World Superbike champion James Toseland, a long-standing patron of its charitable arm, in 2012.
Watching her husband lead the annual Easter egg run, which this year saw 1,000 bikers deliver treats to patients, inspired Katie to come up with a fundraising feat of her own. And she has enlisted the help of The Yorkshire Post to launch it.
Ms Melua said: “The hospital was one of the first things he told me about when we started dating.
“I’ve been to visit some of the patients and it can be heartbreaking seeing little fragile babies and children who are sometimes struggling for their lives.
“The work they do there and the service they provide to families is incredible charity means a lot to me and James.”
Georgian-British starlet Katie shot to fame after being discovered by music producers while studying at Croydon’s BRIT School. She went on to sell 11 million albums and has enjoyed chart success in the UK and overseas.
Yorkshire has had a special place in her heart since she met Mr Toseland backstage at one of her gigs in Sheffield. The ex-racer trained as a pianist after a traumatic accident brought his superbike career to a premature end and he impressed his future wife’s band with his skills as a musician.
The couple live in London but visit the region regularly to see Mr Toseland’s family and continue charity work. She was made a patron of Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity in February last year.
Ms Melua said: “I love Yorkshire, there’s something about people here. James’ family are so welcoming.”
It is hoped the charity auction will raise a substantial amount for the hospital’s Make It Better appeal to raise £20million in the next two years to transform the out-dated building and provide world-class facilities for patients and families.
Readers of The Yorkshire Post are being given the first chance to peruse items from Katie’s closet as the online auction launches today. Some of the garments up for grabs include Vivienne Westwood dresses worn on the red carpet.
Katie said: “As a performer you have a big volume of clothes coming in. They’re a big part of the job. Sometimes you only wear things once or twice. I give a lot to my mum and as gifts to friends, but I thought the auction was a good way to help someone else to get some enjoyment out of them.
“Plus, they’ll be helping towards a fantastic cause.”
Visit http://www.hardlyeverwornit.com/ to start bidding.