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Current as of 08/12/16 07:39PM NZST

Helen Kelly a hit with charity bidders

Former New Zealand Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly. Photo/Brett Phibbs.
Former New Zealand Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly. Photo/Brett Phibbs.

Medicinal cannabis campaigner Helen Kelly is proving a popular lunch date for Kiwis keen to support grief charity Skylight.

Well known Kiwis, including former broadcaster Judy Bailey, Labour Party leader Andrew Little, victims advocate Louise Nicholas and Kelly, have volunteered to have lunch with winning bidders on a Trade Me auction.

Kelly, the former Council of Trade Unions president, is dying of lung cancer and is illegally taking cannabis to ease her pain. In her last months she has been vocal in her support for affordable medicinal cannabis to be made available in New Zealand.

By this evening, she was the most popular of the celebrity guests offering to share a meal with winning bidders. Bids had reached $510 for Kelly, ahead of Bailey's $405 and Little's $210.

This week is Loss and Grief Awareness Week, which Skylight chief executive Heather Henare said was a time to think about the powerful impact loss and grief could have.

The trust offers counselling support, information, and guidance to people facing loss and grief. The lunch dates will help raise funds to pay for counselling and resources for those struggling financially.

Bids are also open for lunch dates with MP Louisa Wall, former MP Georgina Beyer, Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown and her Porirua counterpart Nick Leggett.

Other lunch dates up for auction include comedians Mike King, Jeremy Elwood and Michele A'Court, acting greats Dame Kate and Miranda Harcourt, philanthropist Gareth Morgan, documentary maker Bryan Bruce, drag artist Amanduh La Whore, Skylight Trust patron Kerry Prendergast and Henare.

The auction is on Trade Me at trade.me/skylight. Donations can also be made to the Flashlight fund at www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/lossandgriefawareness

- NZ Herald

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