Auction raises £10,000 - For Ben
By Sarah Wood | 18th August 2020
An online auction has raised £10,000 for a suicide prevention charity, in memory of a former member of the Punchline delivery team.
Ben Brown, was just 22 when he died in April.
Friends, family and former colleagues have already raised more than £31,000 for the Papyrus charity, by running and walking the 4,600 miles from Loughborough to Istanbul.
And on Sunday, AMS Auctions hosted an online auction to raise more money, with nearly 70 lots, including sporting memorabilia, tickets and donations from local businesses up for grabs.
Ben's family hoped to raise £4-5,000 with the auction, but instead hit an incredible £10,000.
Ben's stepfather, Mark Hartery, who runs events management company Aitch and Aitch Bee with Ben's mum Helen, said: "It went fantastically well, We still can't believe it. We are so grateful to everyone who donated and bid on the evening. People's generosity continues to blow us away!
"The money that we've raised will go towards Papyrus. They've been doing so much work during lockdown, they've been busier than ever. They've just released what they call a HOPECAST, which helps to get people to talk about suicide in everyday language That's where Helen and I are. We don't want suicide to be a dirty secret. It's reality. It's the biggest killer of young people, particularly young men.
"The last few days have brought it up again, with the debacle about the exam results. There are young people for whom getting that grade was going to be everything. How are they going to cope without that grade? People do need to talk about suicide. They need to talk about how they're feeling - with parents, friends or strangers.
"Suicide is final. It is absolutely final. We wonder sometimes how many young people understand that. I know that sounds silly, but it leaves devastation behind for everybody. We want to help get that across by talking about it. The money we've raised can help that message continue to get out there. We don't want this to stop now.
"We would like to thank Rob York and AMS Auctions for what they did. Rob is a very good friend of ours who gave up his Sunday evening and created an enjoyable event. We were able to get the auction up on the TV and make it a family event. We hear that people up and down the country did the same."
You can find out more about Payprus and make a donation at papyrus-uk.org
Meanwhile, the Pied Piper Appeal's online auction is still underway. The Gloucestershire charity making a difference to the lives of sick and disabled children has already made over £10,000, with more lots still up for grabs today and tomorrow. Go to https://portal.bid-ingroup.com/WebBidInApp/20181219-45C6-426E-B32A-9604D9DE2A5A/auction
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