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Going, going, gone!

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posted this on 15/12/2014

Two weeks in to my fundraising internship with One25 and I was asked if I would like to help with their annual, and by all accounts amazing Auction Extravaganza. Here is a small piece about my experience…

At 5.30pm, I duly set off to Woodlands Church, excited and intrigued to see if the night would truly live up to the hype. It’s safe to say it didn’t disappoint. At 7pm the 200 guests started to arrive to the lively tempo of the Bristol University Jazz Orchestra. All the guests were dressed to impress, including the Right Honorable Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress both wearing their ceremonial chains.

After a champagne reception the food started being served. The Fareshare chefs cooked up an incredible three course meal.

In true One25 style the auction was a fantastic mix of people from different backgrounds but united in the same cause of raising money to help Bristol’s most vulnerable women.

After the dinner came the most moving part of the evening when ‘Miriam’, an ex-service user took the stage to tell us her story. Her heart-breaking but inspiring story along with her sharp sense of humour meant that by the end there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Next up was the live auction. The incredible auctioneer got the whole hall buzzing with and incredible energy “all for a good cause” and the bidding cards started flashing across the room. I couldn’t help but feel amazed at the sheer generosity of the guests. The people bidding obviously wanted the things they were bidding for, nevertheless, with all the proceeds going straight to One25 there was also the sense that this money really would go to helping women that really needed it. The evening wound down after the last lot – a safari – sold for an amazing £1300!

  • One25 Gala Evening 2014 (2)-1
  • One25 Auction bid
  • One25 Auction Champagne

As the guests started to leave the team of volunteers set to with the clear up. They, for me, were the most inspirational people. After 5 and a half hours of serving the beautiful three course meal, collecting silent auction bids and generally being on-hand to help guests with queries, they still had the energy and enthusiasm to fold away tablecloths, stack chairs and sweep the whole hall.

As I cycled away and reflected on the event I thought about how truly amazing it was that people from all walks of life gave what they had, whether it be money or time, to unite and stand up for the women in our city trapped in the awful cycle of street-sex work.

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