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Vast range of lots on offer in Auction of Promises

Community group Wharfedale Refugee Response, based in Burley-in-Wharfedale, is running an online Christmas auction of promises to raise money that will support asylum seekers and refugees in West Yorkshire.

More than 100 local businesses and residents have donated everything from holidays to meals and swimming lessons to guided fly fishing! Each ‘promise’ will be auctioned online to raise money that will be used to fund items for the food bank run by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS) in Leeds.

Bidding in the online auction begins at 9am on Sunday 19th November and closes at 8pm on Sunday 26th November. At which point, the highest bidder on each lot will be declared the winner of that promise.

The auction is packed with interesting and unique goodies, many of which will make ideal Christmas gifts, as well as plenty of practical items and services too.

Among the wide array of lots up for grabs include a three-night stay at a barn conversion near Thirsk in North Yorkshire, with bidding starting at £300. There is an opening bid of just £30 on a knife sharpening workshop from Ilkley business Community Cutlery, which is worth £65, whilst Yorkshire builder Oddjob and Fixit will spend a day at the home of the highest bidder on his lot, carrying out all of those nagging and unfinished DIY jobs on their behalf.

Other lots include a two-hour, one-to-one lesson on how to use your camera settings with the award-winning Burley-based Rich Bunce Walking Photographer, a guided taster session learning to catch brown trout on the River Wharfe with Ian Hunter, an Angling Lead Coach with the Angling Trust and even a year’s supply of Yorkshire Tea!

There are goodie bags and vouchers to bid on for shops, cafes and restaurants in the West Yorkshire area, including the Moghul in Burley and Ilkley’s Emporio Italia, in addition to commissioned artwork, choir sessions with Wharfedale Valley Voices and an entire half term of swimming lessons with InGear Coaching.

Sarah O'Mahony of Wharfedale Refugee Response said: “We can’t thank the businesses and individuals who have donated such a vast range of lots enough. There is something for everyone, whether you are present shopping or buying for yourself.

We first ran an auction of promises in summer last year, and people were so generous. This time around, we hope that we can help bidders with inspiration for ticking off the names on their Christmas list.

Every promise, big or small, helps us support the food bank at PAFRAS, which will make life easier for refugees struggling to get the sustenance they need.”

Karen Pearse, director of PAFRAS, said: “Thank you so much for supporting PAFRAS and the people we work with. All money raised will go directly to supporting people seeking asylum - children, families and single men and women.

We will purchase items for food parcels and toiletry packs, like tinned vegetables and fruit and shampoo and toothpaste. We are giving more and more food parcels away each week and they are made up almost entirely from donations - we are very grateful for any and all support we receive.”

You can find the auction and browse the available lots at


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