The Homeless Fund: Pitch your business plan to a star of The Apprentice or stay in a stunning Swiss castle in our charity auction

Soak up the sun in the Maldives or catch a Test match at the Oval

Harriet Brewis,Naomie Ackerman
Friday 10 January 2020 16:32 GMT

A business lunch with a star of The Apprentice and a five-star Maldives getaway are among the prizes on offer for our third charity auction.

Lots include five nights of relaxation in a Greek island paradise, tickets to watch Test cricket at the Kia Oval and dinner with the Evening Standard’s beloved food critic Fay Maschler.

Bidders looking for a post-Christmas detox should look to the three-day farmhouse retreat in Somerset, while romantics can vy for a three-night stay at a fairytale Swiss castle.

All proceeds will go towards our two-year appeal, The Homeless Fund.

Using the money raised, the London Homeless Collective, a coalition of 23 charities delivering direct services to people sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness, will work to target the worst gaps – particularly around support for homeless women and mental health provisions.

Our auction is powered by Givergy, an award-winning fundraising technology company which offers a range of cutting-edge platforms to help charities make more money at events and online.

You can make your bids at The auction ends on Friday 17 January at 10pm.

Lunch and Business Plan Critique at the Ivy Club with The Apprentice’s Mike Soutar

For those in need of start-up advice or a business plan critique, Mike Soutar is offering a unique opportunity to meet and mentor one winning bidder.

Mike has worked with Lord Sugar on The Apprentice for eight years, interviewing his final five candidates in often tense scenes where he tests finalists’ knowledge of business plans and industries.

The Standard’s new CEO is a renowned media entrepreneur who consults widely for large companies and invests in start-ups.

He has offered to review the winner’s business plan or start-up idea and take them for lunch at the exclusive Ivy Club in Covent Garden.

Switzerland stay in premier suite at Chateau Gutsch

This fairytale castle and Belle Epoque landmark overlooks the picturesque town of Lucerne in central Switzerland.

The Alexander Suite is the hotel’s premier room, with a four poster bed and separate sitting room. It has a vast wrap-around terrace offering panoramic views of the lake and mountains.

An opulent bar and restaurant complement the classic-chic aesthetic. Half-board three-night stay for two people (excluding drinks). Flights not included.

Soak up the sun with a luxury Maldives getaway

Londoners looking to swap the January blues for crystal-clear waters should bid for this three-night getaway to the Maldives.

The lucky winner and one guest will escape to the white sands of Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort to snorkel amid vibrant reefs and picnic beneath the palms before relaxing in their beach villa.

Guests will have access to a host of activities, from surfing, water sports and cookery classes to sumptuous treatments in in the luxury spa. The five-star package includes breakfast.

Three nights at five-star Lanzarote resort

Pleasure-seekers yearning for some winter sun will love this three-night stay at Lanzarote’s Princesa Yaiza Resort.

The lucky winner and their guest will relax in effortless luxury at this five-star hotel located just steps from the beach.

Here they will make use of the resort’s pools, sports and entertainment facilities, and exclusive thalassotherapy spa.

The package includes half board, meaning the guests will enjoy breakfast and dinner daily at a selection of the resort’s elegant restaurants.

Three nights at five-star Greek resort

One couple will enjoy the best of the Aegean with this three-night stay at Gennadi Grand Resort in Rhodes.

Set snugly between mountain and sea, this eco-friendly haven lies within a small fishing village off the tourist trail.

Guests at the five-star resort will spend three nights enjoying sun, sea, and complimentary breakfasts, with access to the luxury spa, summer sports facilities and a host of dining options.

Afternoon tea and spa treatment at London’s Mandarin Oriental

Londoners craving an afternoon of decadence should bid for this tea and spa treatment at Hyde Park’s iconic Mandarin Oriental hotel.

The lucky winner and their guest will enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea in the Rosebery lounge before heading down to the spa for a bespoke Time Ritual massage lasting two hours and 50 minutes.

Wimbledon poster signed by Federer, Murray and fellow tennis legends

Tennis enthusiasts will race to get their hands on this poster signed by global legends of the sport.

The framed picture of Wimbledon’s No 1 Court bears the signatures of champions Roger Federer and Andy Murray, as well as British number one Johanna Konta and this year’s ATP winner Stefanos Tsitsipas, among others.

The full list of signatories is: Roger Federer; Andy Murray; Johanna Konta; Ash Barty; Simona Halep; Anqelique Kerber; Petra Kvitova; Kei Nishikori; Naomi Osaka; Dominic Thiem; Stefanos Tsitsipas and Sacha Zverev.

Group tour of Lord’s cricket ground

Four cricket lovers have the chance to win an exclusive tour of the most famous ground in the world.

The lucky bidder and their guests will be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Lord’s led by an expert guide.

The tour includes the Grade II-listed Pavilion, legendary Long Room, players’ dressing room, media centre and MCC Museum – home to the Ashes urn.

Dinner with food critic Fay Maschler

Foodies have the rare chance to watch the Evening Standard‘s revered restaurant critic, Fay Maschler, in action.

The writer does not mince her words when it comes to giving her verdict on London’s great – and not so great – restaurants, and the winning bidder will be able to join her for a meal to remember.

Three nights at a 42-acre farmhouse in Somerset

Londoners looking for a post-Christmas zen detox should bid for the chance to spend a long weekend practising pilates and yoga from an 17-bedroom farmhouse on 42 acres of land in Somerset.

Run by Our Retreat, the three-day welcoming programme includes mindful morning yoga classes, guided meditations and restorative evening yoga sessions alongside workshops and guided country walks through the countryside.

Private chefs will prepare meals and protein shakes.

The package is for one person and dates are subject to availability.

Signed Spurs shirt

Tottenham Hotspur fans can get their hands on a home shirt signed by the first team.

Tickets to the Oval

One lucky cricket fan will pocket two tickets to the sought after England vs West Indies Test match at the Kia Oval in June, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium and commentary box with Evening Standard cricket correspondent, Will Macpherson.

Champions Day Ascot

An equestrian enthusiast can snap up two premier tickets for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot racecourse on 17 October – of the the most exciting days in the horse racing calendar.

The day will see £4.2m in prize money up for grabs as some of the best horses from around the world battling it out for glory, and this year’s champion flat jockey crowned.

A weekend on the River Lee in Cork

Spend a weekend in luxury on the Emerald Isle in the heart of Cork at the River Lee hotel, a member of Irish family-owned The Doyle Collection.

The winning bidder will stay in a bedroom with impressive views over the rushing waters of the River Lee, the city’s spires and the rolling hills beyond, and enjoy a locally-sourced, three course dinner at the hotel’s new restaurant The River Club.

Five nights in island paradise on Skiathos

A week relaxing on the golden sands of a Greek island is on offer to the right bidder.

New hotel Elivi Skiathos sits surrounded by some of the island’s most picturesque beaches and boasts mattress-thick sun lounges and waiter service for total beach unwinding.

Local Greek food is served in the evening to complete an idyllic experience.

Remember, the auction closes on Friday 17 January at 10pm.​

You can bid on these wonderful auction lots at

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