The Yorkshire-born actor donated a photo signed by all the hit period drama’s all-star cast – including Hugh Bonneville and Dame Maggie Smith – to help raise funds for The Carers’ Resource.
It will go on display at the inaugural Edwardian Garden Fete that the charity is staging at Broughton Hall, Skipton, on Saturday June 4. Afterwards, it will come under the hammer at an online auction hosted by e-Bay when it is expected to trigger a lot of interest among the TV programme’s legions of fans.
The auction will also feature hand-made Kensington pram kindly donated by Silver Cross and with a High Street value of £950. It will displayed at the fete, which will give visitors a rare chance to explore the stunning grounds of the stately home, including the Nesfield terraced gardens, and the walled gardens designed by TV’s Dan Pearson.
As well as sending the cast’s autographs, he has also donated a signed photo of his wife, the Oscar-nominate Imelda Staunton OBE – better known as Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies. This will be among raffle prizes on the day.
The Carers’ Resource, based at Broughton Hall Business Park, is an award-winning charity that provides support, information and advice aimed at easing the burdens that regularly face Yorkshire’s growing number of unpaid carers.
Its marketing and fund-raising co-ordinator, Anne Wells, said: “We’re grateful to Jim and to Silver Cross for helping us to raise vital funds to expand the specialist support and advice we provide to a growing number of people.
“The Edwardian Garden Fete is among the most important dates in our 2011 fund-raising calendar. It is the first time we have organized an event on this scale, and we are hoping that as many people as possible will join us for what we hope is a interesting and entertaining day for young and old alike.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to step back in time – and imagine life at Downton Abbey!”
As well as a chance to explore the gardens, the day also features market stalls, craft displays, Guiseley brass band, the Cobbydale Singers, Punch and Judy shows a beer and Pimm’s tent, children’ activities and stories – plus an Edwardian-styled tea room.
Further information about the online auction and the Edwardian fete can be gained from www.carersresource.org