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Wharfedale Refugee Response runs auction of promises

Burley-in-Wharfedale’s Wharfedale Refugee Response is running an auction of promises to raise money that will support asylum seekers and refugees in Bradford and Leeds.

More than 100 local businesses and residents have donated everything from holidays to meals and guitar lessons to babysitting services. Each ‘promise’ will be auctioned online to raise money that will be used to help welcome to the area people who have often left everything behind fleeing war and other atrocities.

Bidding in the online auction begins at 9am on Saturday 2nd July and closes at 8pm on Sunday 10th July. At which point, the highest bidder on each lot will be declared the winner of that promise.

Among the wide array of goodies up for grabs include a one-night stay and dinner at the stunning Another Place Hotel by Ullswater in the Lake District. The winning bidder will stay in one of the hotel’s six brand new luxurious shepherd huts this autumn, enjoying their evening meal and breakfast, as well as accessing the hotel’s infinity pool, hot tub, library and lakeside grounds. The package is worth £465, but with bidding starting at £120 there is the potential for someone to claim a bargain when the auction goes live.

Other lots include a half-day private photography lesson with the award-winning Burley-based Rich Bunce Walking Photographer, a large organic seasonal fruit and veg box from the Waste Not shop on Main Street and three hours’ online selling tuition from local vintage business Alfie Robot Retro for anyone looking to turn a profit from their unwanted items.

A family in the village is offering the loan of Lego sets during the summer, restaurants, cafes and delis have pledged packages, and dog walkers, bakers, tutors, gardeners, fitness coaches and many more are donating their time and expertise for the cause. Local artists including Laura Alice and Vicky Morse have provided their work for the auction, and there are advanced driving sessions, dry stone walling tuition and language lessons available to bid on too.

Sarah O'Mahony of Wharfedale Refugee Response said: “We are delighted with the response from businesses and individuals alike. To have more than 100 lots means that there will definitely be something for everyone, whether you want to bid for a luxury break or a homemade lemon drizzle cake! Every promise, big or small, helps us support local charities who are working so hard to make life easier for refugees who are going through an unimaginably traumatic time.”

You can find the auction and browse the available lots at

All the profits from the auction will be shared between PAFRAS (Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) in Leeds, Leeds Refugee Forum and Horton Community Farm. It will fund their vital work supporting asylum seekers and refugees including social projects aimed at reducing isolation and improving mental health, such as:

The Leeds Refugee Forum women’s wellbeing group

Horton Community Farm sanctuary seekers gardening group

Young people’s film nights and day trips at PAFRAS


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