A silent auction of art by shoppers at Castle Quay shopping centre in Banbury has raised more than £1,000 for charity.
Artistic local shoppers donated their incredible creations to the centre’s brand-new customer services desk and then all pieces were displayed in the centre’s Lockdown Craft Gallery for everyone to admire.
Private bids for the pieces were then left in the gallery and the highest bids won the items.
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A total of £1,219 was raised, which has been donated to the centre’s charity partner The Sunshine Centre, who offer practical help, advice and guidance and emotional support to families in Banbury.
One of the auction winners, Matthew Ager, said: “To be honest I really wasn't expecting to win, and I only popped in to have a look at the art while doing my other shopping. The way the auction had been organised made it very easy to bid, so I thought why not!
"The picture I chose was bright and colourful and just appealed to me. The Sunshine Centre has always been a very valuable resource, particularly for young people, and as a local parent I think events like this are a great way to raise money and awareness.”
Another auction winner, Charlotte Bird, said: “The picture I bought is a combination of image and words. I felt the message was perfect for Restore, a mental health charity in Calthorpe Street, that I support.
"The situation for all charities at the moment, due to Covid, is dire and if we all did a little bit to support them, we could help alleviate their extreme financial challenges.”
Oliver Wren, centre director at Castle Quay Shopping Centre, said: “We were amazed by the volume of the pieces we received and the calibre – there were some incredible, professional standard pieces donated.
"Community is really key to Castle Quay and Banbury and I want to thank everyone who backed this initiative, which we definitely want to bring back to the centre again!”