Bid for amazing prizes to support Queen's Park and Kensal charities

The Love Local campaign supports eight charities and many more local businesses.

The Love Local campaign supports eight charities and many more local businesses. - Credit: Giles Deards

More than 40 Queen’s Park and Kensal Rise businesses have come together to offer prizes for an auction in support of charities.

Now in its fourth year, Love Local, held from December 10-19 and supported by the Brent & Kilburn Times, invites online bids to raise money for items - raising money for eight charities.

Giles Deards, event organiser and trustee of charity Salusbury World charity, said: “We wanted to bring the best of what is local together by showcasing great local products and services while also raising the profile of some of our very special charities. 

“The money raised will be shared between them. Please get in touch over the next ten days if you’d like to add prizes and happy bidding everyone!”

As well as children and migrant organisation Salusbury World, the auction will also help Elders Voice and Kensal Rise Library in Kensal Green, Brent Centre for Young People and Laurence’s Larder in Brondesbury Park; as well as food charities Granville Community Kitchen in Carlton Vale, 9 Kitchens in Dollis Hill and Willesden Mutual Aid Foodbank. 

A quarter of the money raised from bids is offered to the local business donating the prize, with the other 75 per cent supporting the local nominated charities as an equal split.

The Lexi Cinema has donated two of the main prizes: exclusive use of its balcony seating area and a year’s membership. 

Other prizes include tickets to see Zadie Smith’s award-winning Wife of Willesden play at the Kiln Theatre; a painting by Monica Maja Richardson; personal fitness training or gym membership; restaurant meals; deli hampers; flowers; family photography and a month's coffee. Prizes are being added every day until the auction ends at 9pm on December 19. 

Sarah Akinwunmi, manager of St Laurence’s Larder, said: “It’s been another tough year for too many people. The effects of the pandemic, cuts to Universal Credit and the impact of rising energy bills mean more people than ever are coming to our door for a warm welcome.

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"We continue to offer cooked food, groceries for take-away and opportunities for emotional or practical advice and are depending on community fundraising to be able to continue.” 

Leslie Barson, co-founder of Granville Community Kitchen in south Kilburn, said “Sadly, the economic situation for many got much worse this year and we are now reaching more than 1,000 people a week. Our community kitchen believes very strongly that anyone who asks for food help should get it, without the need for an application process or paperwork and we are grateful for all support from our local community.” 

Another of those set to benefit is Kensal Rise Library and Stephanie Schonfield said: “Our community won our long battle to re-open Kensal Rise Library but we face an even bigger challenge to stay open.

“We have to meet not just running costs but have to find £12,000 just to cover roof repairs. We’d like to thank the Kilburn Times and local businesses for their support with this auction.” 

Vijay Christian, of Brent Centre for Young People, said 700 young people a year are benefitting from their service thanks to donations from the community. 

He added: “It’s clear our teenagers have been among those who have suffered the most from Covid restrictions, losing life-building experiences and opportunities.”

The online auction will run until 9pm on December 19. It is supported by businesses such as 99 Projects, Bags Of Love, Beancat & Co, Cuore Italian Deli, Bom Asian Kitchen, Cable Co, Carmel Restaurant, Contrado, Chiara Grifantini Textile Design, Crumbzillas, Den Bake Shop, Gym Locomotive, Hana Sushi, Heirlooms & Wooden Spoons, The Hearth, Hoxton BeachJamie Baird PT, Joli, Julia Straker Hair, The Kensal Store, Kiln Theatre, Kensal Pines, The Lexi, Lily King, Lizzie Barker PT, Mariangela PT, The Maqam Centre, Mauli Rituals, Milk Beach, Mindful Kids London, MMQ Piano, Moberly Sports Centre, Monica Maja Richardson Art, Nooki Design, Petite Performers, Queens Park Books, Rize Dance, Sanzio RestaurantSarah ReflexologyScarlet & Violet, Selina Prager Nutrition, Sol Photography, Steeps One Shot, Storm LDN, Tabitha Robertson Aromatherapy, Thrive Kids Clinic, Urban Soul and William IV.

Visit bit.ly/lovelocal2021 to bid.