Sunday, 3 March 2024
Sunday, 3 March 2024

Celebs take part in Teapot Auction to raise funds for children’s cleft charity

NINE of the UK’s most-loved celebrities have signed and donated their favourite teapots to the world’s largest cleft charity, Smile Train UK, for an exciting auction celebrating the charity’s favourite annual flagship fundraiser, the Big Smile Tea Party.

The auction will go live today until Saturday 8th April. All proceeds will go to Smile Train UK – helping them to continue their life-changing work of providing free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children around the world.

Multi-award-winning actresses Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Joanna Lumley are among the celebrity faces who are supporting the campaign, along with British icon Sir Rod Stewart and his TV personality wife, Penny Lancaster.

Queen of breakfast TV and soon-to-be Great British Bake-Off host, Alison Hammond, and Britain’s favourite Italian chef, Gino D’Acampo, alongside comedians Mel Giedroyc and Lolly Adefope are also lending their support. Smile Train UK’s ambassadors and the nation’s favourite hand puppets Sooty & Sweep have also generously donated their favourite teapot.

As well as raising funds, the auction aims to inspire people across the country to dust off their teapots and host their own tea party in this year’s Big Smile Tea Party fundraiser. Taking place throughout the month of April, the Big Smile Tea Party encourages friends, families, and colleagues to come together over a cuppa and a slice of cake, whilst raising vital funds for cleft-affected children.

Dame Joanna Lumley said:

“Smile Train is such a wonderful charity that I’ve supported in the past and am delighted to be doing so again. Their Big Smile Tea Party is a lovely way to come together and raise funds which make a huge difference to children born with clefts all over the world. And what’s a tea party without a teapot? So happy bidding to take your tea from a special one signed by me.”

Alison Hammond said: 

“Everyone knows I love a smile and a giggle, so Smile Train’s Big Smile Tea Party felt like a very ‘me’ campaign to take part in! I hope that whoever wins my teapot feels fabulous whilst enjoying a cuppa. And how about getting your bake on too!!”

Ian Vallance, Smile Train UK Director, said:

“We are so excited to be launching our ultimate tea party auction for this year’s Big Smile Tea Party. The generosity of our celebrity supporters blows us away, and we can’t wait to see how much we can raise this year.

“Every three minutes another baby is born with a cleft and so we are calling out to our loyal supporters to host a tea party, donate the cost of a cup of tea and help us provide free lifesaving surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children in need around the world.”

“And how impressed would your guests be if their tea was served in a celebrity-signed teapot!”

A cleft is the most common facial difference globally, affecting around 1 in 700 babies. In the UK, cleft surgery is carried out within the first 12 months of a baby’s life by the National Health Service (NHS). However, hundreds of thousands of children living in resource-poor communities worldwide do not have access to the life-saving cleft treatment they so desperately need.

Smile Train uses a unique and sustainable model of empowering local medical professionals with the tools they need to provide free surgeries and a full programme of comprehensive cleft care. For nearly 25 years, Smile Train has supported safe and quality cleft care for 1.5+ million children and will continue to do so until every cleft-affected individual has access to the care they deserve.

The Big Smile Tea Party campaign will be kicking off today (Thursday 30th March) and running throughout April. You can order your fundraising pack at

Bid on your favourite celebrity’s teapots at:


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