Hammer comes down at BNi networking auction for SwimTayka

By Nick Batten on 31 October, 2023

A crack-of-dawn auction to raise money for Swindon-based charity SwimTayka has netted £350 after more than a dozen lots went under the hammer.

The event took place last week (25th October) at 6:45 AM and was hosted by long-standing Swindon-based networking group BNi Read, which meets every Wednesday for breakfast. 

Members of the group donated wrapped auction items, and a ‘blind’ auction was held, with people bidding up for the mystery lots and only 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. The Auctioneer was Andy Rhoades, of ABR Safety, who swapped his hard hat for a gavel. 

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

Each ‘chapter’ of BNi is able to offer a complimentary seat to a charity, and BNi Read’s (West Swindon) charity member is SwimTayka.

Bryan Avery, SwimTayka Founder with the bespoke children’s table

Bryan Avery, SwimTayka Founder and a member of BNi Read, said,

“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.”

Bryan successfully bid on Ioan’s table, which he will now gift to his grandchildren. 

He added, “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 Read chapter proved that community spirit knows no time constraints.”

BNi Read meets for breakfast at The Village Hotel, Shaw Ridge, Swindon, on Wednesdays, and is recruiting new members.

For more information visit: bni-wiltshire.co.uk/wiltshire-read-bni-(west-swindon)/en-GB/index

For more about SwimTayka visit: swimtayka.org/.

Pictured: (Top of page) Andy Rhoades, of ABR Safety, who swapped his hard hat for a gavel at the charity auction