More than 50 businesses and seven local charities have come together to promote their services with an online Love Local auction.

The Love Local auction for Kensal Rise and Queen's Park is now in its fifth year and is again supported by the Brent and Kilburn Times.

Anyone can bid on more than 60 prizes between December 9 to 18, with funds being shared between the charities, all of which depend on volunteer support and donations, and 25% of the winning bid being returned to the donating businesses.

Giles Deards, event organiser and trustee of refugee charity Salusbury World, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is badly hitting all of us yet it’s a critical time for charities and our local businesses.

“Research suggests the cost-of-living crisis means a third of us are likely to cut back on charity donations over the coming months, despite them being more expensive to run, and 23 per cent of businesses nationally worry their company will not survive the financial year due to inflation, rising energy and supply costs

“So the goal of the Love Local auction is to shine a light on our local charities and also show how vital and attractive our local businesses also are.”

Charities benefitting from the auction are Salusbury World, Kensal Green’s Elders Voice, Brent Centre for Young People and Laurence’s Larder in Brondesbury Park, as well as food charities Granville Community Kitchen in Carlton Vale, Mutual Aid Food Willesden and Sufra NW of Stonebridge.

Among the main prizes are swimming courses from The Maqam Centre, exclusive use of the Lexi Cinema balcony, a painting by Monica Maja Richardson, and tickets to see Zadie Smith’s award-winning Wife of Willesden play at the Kiln Theatre.

Other prizes include personal fitness training or gym memberships; restaurant meals; deli hampers; flowers; picture framing & family photography and a month's coffee. Prizes will be added every day until the auction ends at 9pm on Sunday, December 18.

Mark Wakefield, chair of trustees at charity Laurence’s Larder, said: “For many years Laurence’s Larder has offered a warm welcome and support for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“Yet just three months ago, despite the increase in need, the Larder looked like it may be forced to close.

“We're delighted to have a new volunteer board and lots of plans to support people who need help with food, clothes and companionship. We've just launched a £5,000 crowdfunding campaign to upgrade our kitchen facilities and would be delighted to hear from anyone who'd like to support us, whether financially or as a volunteer."

Nina Parmar, of Sufra NW London, said “Sufra provides a lifeline to people in a crisis. As well as emergency food and toiletries, hot meals, advice and guidance and cooking and healthy eating courses, we provide help for refugees and asylum seekers and more. To make matters worse this winter far too many people are being forced into making impossible choices between heating homes or being able to eat. We’ve launched an urgent Surviving Winter Appeal you can read about on the auction pages."

Leslie Barson, co-founder of Granville Community Kitchen in south Kilburn, said “Our work is unfortunately as urgent as ever. By partnering with Sufra and Care 4 Calais we’ve been able to offer more community hot meals every week in south Kilburn and we have also developed our community garden and Good Food Box. We can only survive with more of the very generous support of our volunteers and we’re grateful for all support from our local community.”

Brahim Djouadi, of Hana Sushi of Chamberlayne Rd, said “Hana is proud to be celebrating 15 years of serving our High St. But there’s no doubt that this is a very tough time for all businesses. In Hana’s case it’s not just very high energy bills or operating costs but we have had huge increases to food supply costs which we are very reluctant to pass onto our customers. We thank all our customers for their loyalty”. 

Jane Hylton of Willesden Sports Centre said “Sports and Leisure centres across the UK are still recovering from the long-term effects of the forced closures during the global pandemic, and we continue to face more challenges with rising energy costs.

"However, we remain committed to serving our community and are focused on providing a first-class provision; whether it's our swimming lessons, vast timetable of group exercise classes, our expansive gym offer, not to mention the sports hall and running track.

"We'd like to encourage as many people as possible to come try out our centre over the coming weeks via a free one-day pass on our website”.

To bid in the auction, visit:

Businesses offering prizes include:

99 Projects, Bags Of Love, Bec Elliot, Bom Asian Kitchen, Cable Co, Cody Burridge, Contrado, Chiara Grifantini Textile Design, Cuore Italian Deli, Crumbzillas, Den Bake Shop, Fitness Workspace, Gym Locomotive, Hana Sushi, The Hearth, Ida Restaurant, Jamie Baird PT, Joli, Julia Straker Hair, Just Barking, Kensal Pines, Kiln Theatre, Lexi Cinema, Lisa's Bar & Feasts, Lizzie Barker PT, The London Bookman, Mariangela PT, Maqam Centre, Mauli Rituals, MMQ Piano, Moberly Sports Centre, Monica Maja Richardson Art, NXT Phase Fitness, Nooki Design, Petite Performers, Sanzio Restaurant, Sarah Cohen Reflexology, Selina Prager Nutrition, Sol Airzcorbe Photography, Somewhere Queens Park, Steeps One Shot, Storm LDN, SwankySwimming Nature, Tabitha Robertson Aromatherapy, Vicki’s, Willesden Sports Centre, William IV, Worldly Wicked & Wise.