2nd November 2020

Legacy of much-loved Wiltshire woman moves closer with silent online auction this November

Ainslie’s pavilion edges closer as Swindon business owner Fiona Scott of Scott Media gets set to host her fifth annual virtual charity auction.

The auction’s aim is to raise the last £1,000 needed to start the rebuild of Purton Cricket Pavilion in memory of her much-loved friend Ainslie Duffell.

The auction is live from Monday 9th November – Sunday 6th December. It’s raising funds for Ainslie’s Pavilion project. The completed project will enable everyone to:

a. Enjoy and take part in local cricket and …
b. … create a lasting legacy for Swindon woman Ainslie Duffell.

Fiona Scott, founder and Director of Scott Media, and Phil Phil Duffell founder of Ainslie’s Pavilion Project are the auction’s supporters.

The auction lots include many business strategy sessions with leading local business figures. There’s also handmade silver jewellery, cricket tickets and handcrafted Christmas decorations. 

The motivation for the auction to make Ainslie’s pavilion edge closer

Since Ainslie Duffell died from breast cancer in 2015, one of her best friends, Fiona Scott, has held an annual online social media auction to support ‘Ainslie’s Pavilion Project’.

Ainslie’s Pavilion Project focuses around rebuilding the cricket pavilion at Purton Cricket Club, Purton, near Swindon. It arose from Ainslie’s personal experience of being unable to watch her son play due to being a wheelchair user in her final months. The pavilion will be a living legacy. It will have disabled access, as well as facilities for female players. All to reflect the needs of the sport in the modern era. 

Fiona had intended the final fundraising event, ‘The Purple Soiree’, for April 2020 as a celebratory culmination of five years of efforts to raise £50,000 to kick-start the project. But COVID-19 and the later national lockdown resulted in cancellation. So it seemed as though we wouldn’t meet the five year target .

Fiona, a PR consultant and journalist, has decided to make her 5th annual auction bigger and better than ever. She aims to raise the final £1,000 needed to hit the £50,000 target. That will open access to grants and extra funding. 

She said: ‘I wasn’t going to let the pandemic stop us achieving our goals. It’s so poignant that we reach the £50,000 target this year, as Purton Cricket Club will be 200 years old. It’s time to bring the facilities into the 21st century. Then no other wheelchair user will struggle with access and female cricket players will have access to their own toilets and changing rooms.’

The intention of the online auction is to raise the final sum before grant funding can be sought to complete the pavilion in its entirety. 

Ainslie's Pavilion Edges Closer - Fiona  Scott with Phil Duffell
Fiona Scott with Phil Duffell

Swindon business support

Fiona added: “Local businesses, including branding expert Mike Land of Nickel Design and Paul Holmes of PCH Business Support have been most generous. They’ve donated multiple business strategy & support sessions totalling more than £2,000. 

‘We also have handcrafted Christmas decorations from Ard Alume, handmade silver earrings from Barking Hen Jewellery. And of course, cricket tickets from cricket fan Ged Montgomery. We’ll be adding a whole host of others, so there will be something for everyone.’

‘The starting bids will range from £1 so there’s a real chance to grab a bargain while supporting a fantastic cause at the same time.’

About the auction

“The starting bids will range from £1 so there’s a real chance to grab a bargain while supporting a fantastic cause at the same time.” 

The auction will begin at 8am on Monday 9th November. You can view items n Facebook at www.facebook.com/PRWiltshire

Anyone wishing to see the lots via email can do so by emailing: fiona@fionascott.co.uk

Ainslie’s Pavilion Edges Closer

Ainslie's Pavilion Edges Closer - Ainslie Duffell with her son Alex who is now 20 and a student at university in Cardiff.
Ainslie Duffell with her son Alex who is now 20 and a student at university in Cardiff. 

About Ainslie

Ainslie’s Pavilion Project became a reality on Valentine’s Day 2015. Within 24 hours of loving mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend Ainslie Duffell falling asleep. 

In her mid-30s and out of the blue, Ainslie found a lump in her breast. On diagnosis doctors told her she had an aggressive form of breast cancer that was already in her liver. They gave her a year to live. 

Through sheer determination and the support of her family, especially husband Phil and son Alex, she fought the disease.

After 12 years, having squeezed as much out of life as possible, Ainslie, aged 47, died with Phil and Alex by her side. 

Phil and Alex then read her journal, which she’d been keeping for them both. In it she talked about her pride in both her son and her husband, especially when it came to the sport of cricket. Sports journalist Phil had given up work to care for Ainslie. He then re-qualified as a cricket coach. Son Alex was already an accomplished player for the county. 

Purton cricket club

Both Phil and Alex had their sporting base at Purton Cricket Club nr Swindon. The oldest club in Wiltshire it celebrates its 200th birthday this year.

In her final months, when using a wheelchair, Ainslie was unable to attend matches as there is no wheelchair access to the club – indeed there are no dedicated facilities for anyone with a disability. The outdated pavilion also has no facilities for girls – no toilets or changing rooms. It’s simply unfit for a modern world. 

In her journal Ainslie spoke of her sorrow at not being able to go to matches to watch her son play and she missed his first century. 

Phil and Alex pledged to do something about this. They decided to raise funds to refurbish and update the pavilion. Or even rebuild it completely to create a community asset in Ainslie’s name. Their aim was to spend five years raising £50,000 to create a healthy nest egg for the project and then work with funders to apply for grants to move to the next stage. Phil and Alex wanted to reach this milestone in 2020 to coincide with the 200th birthday of the club. 

In 2020 this small team of volunteers will hit that financial target and Ainslie’s pavilion edges closer. Then the work will begin on seeking funding and getting the building work underway. 

The vision is to provide a living community legacy in Ainslie Duffell’s name. Any girl who plays cricket there will owe a silent debt to this dignified and wonderful woman and her family. And, thanks to Ainslie’s legacy, any disable person will be able to enjoy an afternoon of cricket. That most quintessential of English pastimes.

For more information visit https://ainsliepavilion.wixsite.com/home

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