The New Year has got off to a bumper start for seven charities in Kensal Rise and Queen's Park after more than £4,500 was raised from its annual Love Local online auction.

The fundraiser, supported by the Brent and Kilburn Times, is run by volunteers for 10, days with prizes donated by 55 local businesses.

Salusbury World refugee charity trustee Giles Deards, who organised the auction, said: “The annual Love Local auction is a fun way to showcase our area’s fantastic local businesses, artists and creatives, while also raising crucial funds for local charities. 

"Businesses and charities both need our community support, especially through this cost-of-living crisis”.

Sharing the proceeds of the auction are food charities Laurence’s Larder, in Brondesbury Park, Granville Community Kitchen, in Carlton Vale, Willesden Mutual Aid Food and Sufra NW, in Stonebridge.

Kensal Green’s Elders Voice; Queen's Park's Salusbury World; and Brent Centre for Young People in Brondesbury will also benefit.

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A further £270 was pledged by bidders in the auction to support local food initiative Gift Your Neighbour which delivers fruit and veg every Monday to households and schools within half a mile of Queen's Park.

Jon Cumings-Higgs of Elders Voice, in Mortimer Road, said: “The festive season is the season of happiness and goodwill but for many older people it can be a particularly tough time. 

"We know the biggest impact on older people’s lives is the onset of loneliness and our team works hard to offer opportunities through our wellbeing centre and floating support, as well as provide practical support through our handyman and other services. 

"The generosity of everyone through the Love Local auction and in 2023 will help us fund these and we’re very grateful for the support."

Jacquee Ferre, manager of Queen's Park's Maqam Centre, in Wrentham Avenue, which donated a children’s swimming and a lunch prize, said: “The Maqam Centre was created to serve our community and help people come together, whether using our cafe, swimming pool or our wide range of classes.

"We’ve been delighted to support the auction over the past four years and we wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year.”

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Cat Scourfield of Nooki Design, in Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, said: “We’re delighted to help raise money for local charities and also help remind everyone about the importance of shopping local.

"Nooki is very proud of our range of accessories, gifts and clothes and thank our customers for their support over the last year. Here’s to a very prosperous 2023 for everyone.”

Queen's Park artist Monica Maja Richardson, who donated three prizes, including one of her abstract paintings said: “It’s a tough time for too many people at the moment and it’s great to be able to help - even in a small way - by donating some of my work. 
We have a strong community in Queen's Park that I’m very proud to be part of.” 

The businesses that donated prizes this year were 99 Projects, The Artful Project, Bags Of Love, Bec Elliot, Bom Asian Kitchen, Cable Co, Carmel Restaurant, 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, Kensal Sugar Company, 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, New Parent Company, NXT Phase Fitness, Nooki Design, Petite Performers, Sanzio Restaurant, Sarah Cohen Reflexology, Selina Prager Nutrition, Sol Aizcorbe Photography, Somewhere Queen's Park, Steeps One Shot, Storm LDN, Swankys, Swimming Nature, Tabitha Robertson Aromatherapy, The Wealthy Beggar, Willesden Sports Centre, William IV, Worldly Wicked & Wise.