A FAMILY firm of auctioneers has developed ways to back a number of charities – and has new digital auction services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wensleydale-based Tennants Auctioneers has offered its internet bidding platform to host an online only charity auction for free to raise funds for NHS workers and has re-shaped its online services to provide digital valuations during the lockdown.

The fourth-generation family firm is also going ahead with its programme of auctions, holding these as online sales too until such time it is safe for the public to attend again.

The business held its last public auction on March 21 and although its salerooms are temporarily closed,it will start a programme of online-only sales from May 27.

The business has a long tradition of helping to support good causes and has partnered with Hospitality For Heroes, a not-for-profit, grassroots campaign created by the hospitality industry which is using skilled chefs to supply NHS staff and the vulnerable with free health meals. The timed auction held on Tennants website last weekend attracted more than 100 bidders and raised more than £21,500.

Tennants is also providing free valuations to registered charities on items they may wish to sell, when it is safe to consign them. All they have to do is contact Tennants via email with details and images, or set up a virtual valuation via Zoom or Skype.

Its salerooms in Leyburn usually welcome more than 6,000 visitors each year seeking a free valuation however during the coronavirus, valuations are being offered instead via Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp or email.

Director Jane Tennant said: “We have been delighted by the number of enquiries we have received and to help clients who are at home discover the true value of items they may have been storing and may now wish to consign.”

Its further charity involvement has included supporting “We’ll Meet Again”, an initiative by a Dales-based charity which is delivering goody bags to keyworkers, NHS staff and vulnerable people throughout the dales.

Tennants has also provided £1,500 worth of complimentary candles and diffusers from its Gift Shop, which will be distributed along with food and luxuries throughout the Yorkshire Dales.

Ms Tennant said: “Tennants has a long and proud track record of supporting good causes and ordinarily, we take the opportunity to raise funds for local charities through the viewing of our forthcoming sales. We know that the coronavirus is affecting the fundraising efforts of many charities and want to play our part and help wherever we can.”

Ms Tennant said: “Although we are a traditional family business, we have continued to embraced technology and we are pleased to be able to operate safely during these challenging times. Online only sales offer all of the excitement of the saleroom and attract strong prices but bidders can take part from the comfort of their home”.

For more information visit www.tennants.co.uk.