Charity auction: Last chance to bid for Yorkshire’s most exclusive gifts

Jonny Mitchell, head teacher of Thornhill Community Academy, Dewsbury
Jonny Mitchell, head teacher of Thornhill Community Academy, Dewsbury
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His starring role in Educating Yorkshire has won him legions of admirers and turned him from headteacher to heart-throb.

Now, fans of the hit Channel 4 show can bid on an exclusive chance to meet charismatic Jonny Mitchell in the Yorkshire Post’s Christmas auction.

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The highest bidder will get to enjoy a three-course lunch and wine with the 41-year-old at Brasserie Forty 4 in Leeds.

The two-hour meeting is a chance to quiz him on how he took on the once-troubled Thornhill Community Academy in Dewsbury and turned it around and the impact of the TV series –which returns for a one-off Christmas special on Thursday, December 19, at 9pm.

It is one of ten experiences and gifts – many of which money cannot normally buy – going under the hammer in the final week of our auction, which is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

“Two of my grandparents both had quite severe Alzheimer’s and passed away after battling that,” said Mr Mitchell.

“I think most people who have experienced or had contact with somebody who has suffered from dementia will be aware of the effect it has on families.

“I think it’s really important people dig deep and support people suffering from dementia and the people who care for them.”

Also up for grabs this week is a dinner party for ten at the Punch Bowl Inn in the North Yorkshire village of Marton-cum-Grafton, near Boroughbridge.

The highest bidder and their guests will feast on a four-course meal in the gastropub’s private dining room, with champagne on arrival, courtesy of Provenance Inns group.

A brewery tour and ale-tasting session is also on offer thanks to Masham-based Theakston’s, which has also thrown in a two-night stay at its White Bear Hotel in the North Yorkshire market town, plus a day’s salmon fly fishing on the River Ure.

A one-night stay at the award-winning Yorebridge House in the Dales village of Bainbridge could also be yours, including a bottle champagne on arrival, dinner and bed and breakfast.

For a getaway a little further afield, you could bid on a two-night mini-break, including dinner, bed and breakfast, at the Lakeside Hotel and Spa, on the shores of Windermere in the Lake District.

Guests will also have use of the hotel’s pool, jacuzzi, steam and sauna rooms as well as its gym.

A pair of first-class return train tickets to London courtesy of East Coast Trains is also on offer along with a guided tour of one of the capital’s most prestigious private members’ clubs in Pall Mall, followed by afternoon tea in its impressive gallery.

The chance to use a private hospitality box for 16 people to see Disney on Ice at Leeds Arena on March 4 next year has been donated by Calder World of Travel in Leeds.

The highest bidder and their guests will get to see the best views of the action and will also have VIP access to the members’ premier lounge.

An exclusive chance for up to 200 people to watch Sprite Productions’ dress rehearsal of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Ripley Castle in North Yorkshire on June 23 next year is also up for grabs.

Two lucky rugby league fans could also enjoy a behind the scenes visit and tickets to watch Super League team Hull Kingston Rovers at home at Craven Park during the 2014 season.

And finally a set of six Memory Bank DVDs, which use archive film to bring past events and experiences back to life for people with memory problems, is also being auctioned.

All money raised for the Alzheimer’s Society will go directly to help the 58,000 people in Yorkshire affected by dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: “We are delighted the Yorkshire Post has chosen to support our work in its Christmas Appeal 2013. The money raised will fund services providing direct help to people living with dementia and their carers in Yorkshire.”

This year’s Christmas appeal is sponsored by Leeds-based law firm Clarion.

Managing partner Mark Burns said: “By sponsoring this charity we at Clarion are doing our little bit to reinforce our commitment to the fight against dementia.”

The auction is managed by Harrogate-based Cicada Communications. Managing director Di Burton said: “I’d urge everyone to get behind this year’s auction and provide as much support as they can.”

View this week’s lots and bid now