A LEOMINSTER charity will be holding a special auction to raise vital funds.

Based at Dale, in Leominster, the Teddy Trust collects teddies from children around the UK, sending them on to children abroad who have suffered the traumas of war or sexual abuse.

Now in its sixth year, the charity has become so successful that they are holding several fundraising projects this year just to keep up with the huge volume of teddies arriving every week.

"To date, we've sent around 80,000 teddies to over a dozen countries including Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan and South Africa, where we work with Rotary International in hospital forensic units, police rape crises centres and other groups," Ellie Somme said.

"The children we send teddies to are mostly very traumatised and so we are very specific about what we send - soft, cuddly, benign teddies and other soft animals to bring a little healing into their otherwise very bleak lives.

"We shipped 25,000 teddies overseas last year alone."

The Trust, which will be holding a charity Auction of Promises next month, is calling on anyone who might like to help fundraise, or to offer a promise for their auction to get in touch.

"We have professional auctioneer David Thompson on the night, and, so far, a list of around 40 auction lots including a week's stay in a holiday cottage, a tour of the Morgan factory, signed prints from local artists and tickets for the Hay festival.

"We are also running a Sponsor a Box campaign where people can help directly with shipping costs."

Tickets are priced at £10 to include a glass of wine, a cheese supper and a raffle and are available from Kingsland Post Office or by calling 01544 327835.

The auction list will be published on www.teddytrust.org.uk by March 26, and pre-auction bids can be made by emailing theteddytrust@gmail.com before noon on April 5.