Auction opens 11th May 2020 7pm and runs until 25th May 6.30pm 2020

A group of Yorkshire Brownies, has received support from A-list celebrities such as Dame Helen Mirren and author Sir Quentin Blake for its project to raise funding for a school in Zimbabawe.

Every year the girls of the 1st Burley Brownies, based in Burley-in-Wharfedale near Ilkley, write letters to their favourite authors, illustrators and celebrities asking them to design a bookmark.

This year the brownies have received over 100 bookmarks from authors Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson, Lauren Child and Sir Quentin Blake; comedians Frank Skinner and Jo Brand; musician Brian May; actors Dame Helen Mirren, Imelda Staunton and Sheridan Smith; German illustrator Axel Sheffler and many more.

The Bookmark project is now in its fourth year and all the money raised is used to support Katiyo Primary School in Zimbabwe. All the bookmarks received will be sold by auction, between 11th-25th May and members of the public can bid on their favourite bookmarks.

Brownie Leader Sharon Hattersley said: “Over the years the Brownies have helped to raise over £20,000 for the school. This money has helped to build blocks of toilets, provide desks and benches for all the classrooms, bought reading books and supported a number of other projects.”

In its first year the auction raised over £900 and helped to purchase a reading scheme for the school, in its second year the auction raised a fantastic £3000 which helped to bring electricity to the school and teacher houses. In 2019 the auction raised £2900 and the money is helping to pay to drill a new borehole to provide the school and community with fresh clean water after the existing borehole ran dry.

This year’s funds will go towards building a nursery classroom for the youngest children at the school who currently have nowhere to hold their lessons.

The 1st Burley Brownies is made up of 33 girls aged 7 to 10 years, and their leaders. Last year the group celebrated its 100th birthday and it has been supporting Katiyo school for nearly 19 years.

The group has exchanged letters and WhatsApp messages with the teachers and children at the school and Brownie leaders have visited the school twice.

To take part in the auction go to between 11th-25th May.