Old school desk gets music stars all signed up for disability charity

Oxford Mail: Yellow Submarine staff, above from left, Anthony Langdon, Toby Staveley and Yasmin Mederick Buy this photo » Yellow Submarine staff, above from left, Anthony Langdon, Toby Staveley and Yasmin Mederick

IT WOULD be the best line-up for a school detention.

But scribbles on a vintage school desk by the likes of Boy George, Mel C and Mark Ronson have been for a good cause.

Oxford-based charity Yellow Submarine, which helps people with learning difficulties, left the desk in a London recording studio for two years as part of a fundraising idea.

And during its stay at Sarm Studios in Notting Hill, the desk was decorated by recording artists from across the genre spectrum, including rapper Akon, singers Florence Welch, Paloma Faith and Paolo Nutini and bands like Suede and Cover Drive.

Oxford Mail:

  • Boy George

Studio owner Trevor Horn and John Fairs, a supporter of the charity who also manages The Prodigy, helped out with the project.

The charity and Mr Fairs teamed up to put the desk in the studio, with permanent markers next to it, and celebrities were encouraged to sign it.

The studio closed in September and the desk is now on eBay.

Charity boss and founder Toby Staveley is hoping it will fetch well over the auction starting price of £500.

Mr Staveley said: “Who with a slightly rebellious streak doesn’t want to leave their name on a school desk?

“We support people with learning disabilities who love the Spice Girls and All Saints, so when Sarm offered to help our charity we conceived this idea as a fun way to create a really valuable bit of music history.

Oxford Mail:

  • Mark Ronson

“We hope it raises as much money as possible as our members are being disproportionately hit by cuts and need all the support they can get at the moment.”

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Other people to have signed the desk include Anne Dudley from the Art of Noise, Mikey Craig from Culture Club, David Wood from Pet Shop Boys, Keith Flint and Liam Howlett from The Prodigy, Lol Creme from 10cc, Mark Ronson and Maxi Priest.

Oxford Mail:

  • Mel C from The Spice Girls

Original Sugababes Mutya Buena and Siobhan Donagy, Natalie Appleton from All Saints, Reggie Yates, Rizzle Kicks, Sam & the WOMP, Space Plant, Taio Cruz, Vanilla Ice and Vox Empire also signed it.

John Fairs said he was happy to support a good cause. He added: “I am just about to email all the managers about it.”

To bid on the desk, visit http://ebay.eu/ILZLUd 

The auction will close on Thursday, December 19, at 9.44am.

Charity facts

Yellow Submarine provides opportunities for people with learning disabilities and their families and carers to benefit from subsidised respite and opportunities.

It organises supported day activities and residential holidays for both children and adults with learning disabilities to make friends, build confidence and teach new skills.

It also runs a social enterprise cafe in Park End Street, Oxford to provide training and work.



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