Dorset Chamber has launched a £10,000 charity auction in aid of efforts to help people fleeing the fighting in war-torn Ukraine.
It is leading the way with the online initiative for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Businesses are being urged to donate items or experiences for auction before lots go under the virtual hammer in April.
Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said:
“It is horrific to see the plight of families and communities being ripped apart in Ukraine.
“We wanted to lead the way locally to give businesses a way of making a difference and supporting the aid efforts during this dreadful crisis.
“A massive thank you goes to businesses who have already donated some tremendous items and experiences, but we are seeking even more to raise as much money as we possibly can.
“I hope that as a business community we will do our absolute best to help. One hundred per cent of the money raised will go to the DEC.”
Members and non-members of the chamber are invited to offer lots until the end of March.
Then the online auction will be held in April on the Dorset Chamber website with bids open to anyone, whether individuals or businesses. The lots will be open for bids over a period of weeks in April.
Items donated so far include a powerboat driving course, a short holiday, dinners, bed and breakfasts in several hotels, festival tickets, a laptop, branded workwear, signed AFC Bournemouth shirt, a pool day with lunch, Sunday lunch for six, a health assessment and a massage and fine wines.
According to the DEC at least three million people have fled their homes to escape the war in Ukraine and more than 18 million people are expected to be displaced as fighting continues.
It says that:
• £30 could provide essential hygiene supplies for three people for one month
• £50 could provide blankets for four families
• £100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month
Ian added: “Dorset’s business community is renowned for its community spirit and support in tough times.
“I am sure that we can pull together again to help save lives and alleviate the suffering we are seeing as this crisis continues to deepen.”
Contact Ian Girling on 01202 714800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to donate items or find out more.
• TV personality Martin Roberts is set to launch the chamber’s auction in an online event on Monday April 4. The presenter and property expert – star of Homes under the Hammer – will appear with chief executive Ian Girling to open the auction for bidding. He will also talk about his recent mercy mission to the Poland-Ukraine border where he delivered donations. Martin will share first-hand experiences about the crisis and why support is so vital. The event is from 8.45am to 9am and is free to attend.