Hammer comes down on charity networking auction

A crack of dawn auction to raise money for Swindon-based charity SwimTayka netted almost £300 when more than a dozen lots went under the hammer.

The event was hosted by long-standing Swindon-based networking group BNi Read, which meets every Wednesday for breakfast, and has been going for 20 years. 

Members of the group donated wrapped auction items, and a ‘blind’ auction was held, with people bidding up for the mystery lots. They only had cryptic clues to go on.

The star lot was a bespoke children’s table in the shape of a fish, made specially for the auction by craftsman Ioan Frantugu, who runs RQ Carpentry. Auctioneer was Andy Rhoades, of ABR Safety, who swapped his hard hat for a gavel, and the final tally was £350. 

The funds will go to SwimTayka, which runs swimming and drowning prevention programmes in underserved areas around the world, to help combat the high incidence of drowning.

Bryan Avery, a member of BNi Read, said he was delighted the event went so well.

“I am so grateful to all my fellow members of BNi Read who so generously donated items for sale and then bid on them. SwimTayka is an organisation devoted to providing swimming and environmental education to underprivileged communities. Andy shared a touching anecdote about the importance of the skill of swimming, adding emotional weight to the proceedings. While the focus was undeniably on fundraising, the personal stories and genuine passion for the cause added layers of depth to the event.”

An added bonus for Bryan was that he successfully bid on Ioan’s table, which he’ll gift to his grandchildren. 

He said: “A hearty thanks are in order for all those who woke up early, readied their bidding paddles, and contributed to the SwimTayka cause. It’s not every day that you attend an auction at the crack of dawn, but the BNi Swindon Read Chapter proved that community spirit knows no time constraints.”
BNi Read meets for breakfast at The Village Hotel, Shaw Ridge, on Wednesdays, and is recruiting new members. For more information visit, https://bni-wiltshire.co.uk/wiltshire-read-bni-(west-swindon)/en-GB/index. For more about SwimTayka, https://swimtayka.org/.