Aberdeenshire residents are being given the chance to start the new year in an unforgettable way – by ringing in the bells as the clock strikes 12.
The highest bidder at an upcoming silent auction hosted by the Benholm and Johnshaven Ladies Lifeboat Guild will “Ring in the Changes” on Hogmanay.
Their event is taking place on Saturday to raise funds for the RNLI – with a variety of items and experiences available to bid on.
Guild treasurer Janie Kennett said: “This is the first event we have done like this and we’re not sure how it’ll go, but we’re hoping it will be a great success.
“We have 46 lots with a variety of donated items. Vouchers for local businesses, including The Anchor Hotel and The Quayside Restaurant, paintings and a hamper are just a selection of what will be available.
“The Arbroath Lifeboat Station has donated a personal tour of its station for up to five people and there’s the chance to ring the bells on Hogmanay.
“A village elder normally rings in the new year at the former chapel in Johnshaven, which is now the Hidden Treasure Tearoom, but this year it will be an auction winner.
“We will also have a cake stall with homebakes and a card machine – another first for us – for any donations people would like to make.”
Thinking outside the box
The guild members are the “silent volunteers” working away in the background so there are funds available to support the lifesaving work of the RNLI.
The Benholm and Johshaven Ladies Lifeboat Guild does “bits of fundraising” whenever they can throughout the year, including fish festivals, coffee mornings and Strictly sweepstakes, as well as their annual meeting.
The nine members, including secretary Freda Dundas who has been a part of the guild for 32 years, are always encouraging more to join. All of the members are committed volunteers each with their own personal link to the sea.
Mrs Kennett added: “We all have a personal interest and this is our way of giving back to the village.”
Any money raised by the lifeboat guild is sent to a central fund so it can be fairly distributed and sent to where it is most needed.
Due to Covid, the committee knew they had to think outside the box for their first big fundraising event back and decided to host their debut silent auction to raise as much as possible for the RNLI.
The silent auction will take place at Johnshaven Village Hall on Saturday, November 6, between 10am and 4pm.
Bidders will be able to pick up their prizes at the end of the event.