Your last chance to bid for Yorkshire’s most exclusive Christmas gifts, and help soldiers in need

THE Yorkshire Post Christmas charity auction has entered its final week, with just 10 lots of the region’s most exclusive prizes left to bid for to support our soldiers and their families in need.

So far, 40 lots have been snapped up by generous readers, helping to raise thousands for ABF - The Soldiers’ Charity, which in the past year has seen a 50 per cent leap in the number of Army families seeking its help, alongside a 30 per cent rise over the past two years in applications from soldiers.

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The charity currently estimates that it needs to double its annual income from £7m to £14m by 2015, to cope with the sheer scale of soldiers in need of its support.

Among the pick of the final week’s lots, is a Christie’s auction catalogue from its 1997 sale in New York of the dresses of Diana, Princess of Wales.

This full colour hardback volume has been donated for this auction by its current owner, Jeffrey Archer.

Her dresses included an evening gown worn by the Princess to a White House dinner where she danced with film star John Travolta.

Another collector’s item up for auction is a black-and-white signed presentation photograph of Ian Botham in the changing room, smoking a cigar after his match-winning 149 not out against Australia in 1981.

Elsewhere, readers can bid for four VIP tickets to the premier enclosure at York Racecourse.

Another lot being made available is the chance to drive a Porsche Panamera for the weekend.

For a more sedate prize, readers can bid for a two-course meal and private cinema viewing for up to 14 people at exclusive Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate, or the chance to enjoy a sneak preview of Sprite Productions’ 2012 outdoor theatre production at Ripley Castle.

This week’s auction is also giving readers a second chance to bid for a hand-crafted middle-eastern vase, now being made available at £59.99.

Bidding closes at 5pm next Friday, December 16.

Those wishing to make private donations can also send a cheque made payable to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, to the Editor’s Secretary, Yorkshire Post, Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 1RF.