Philanthropy | Need To Now

Need to Now: Time-limited luxuries

An opulent weekend in Rome and a chance to cure your phobias are among the lots at this auction

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Need to Now: Time-limited luxuries

November 19 2010
David Cheal

Today marks the beginning of a charity auction which is offering an array of unique, idiosyncratic and luxurious lots, among them: two nights in a suite at the opulent Residenza Napoleone III in Rome (pictured), the former residence of Napoleon III housed in the 16th-century Palazzo Ruspoli; the opportunity to spend a day “shadowing” Bernard Mayer, the executive chef at the recently revamped Savoy hotel in London; a performance from the Brodowski Quartet in the venue of your choice, including, if desired, your own home; the chance to spend a week working with handbag queen Anya Hindmarch; and a kicking lesson with the Scottish international rugby coach.

This “Behind the Scenes” auction is in support of Pilotlight, the charitable organisation that mentors other charities, helping them to improve their revenues and the number of people they reach. Established in 2002, Pilotlight says that on average, two years after working with it, charities achieve an average income growth of 48 per cent.

The climax of the auction process takes place on November 30, when a live auction will be held at Bafta in London; here, the final 10 lots will be auctioned. Tickets for the event, which includes dinner and a champagne reception, cost £300; tables for 10 or 12 are also available.

And for those who might be put off bidding for any of the prizes because they suffer from a phobia (a fear of flying to Rome, for instance), one of the lots is a session with a complementary therapist who claims to be able to cure anyone’s worst phobia.