Ex-serviceman Michael Crossan served in the Royal Highland Fusiliers but became homeless after leaving the army and following a period of travelling. He got back on his feet and rediscovered his love of art with the help of Veterans Aid and has now seen his work displayed in London galleries. He has donated his brilliant ‘'Somme (ber)'’, a remarkable homage to the First World War with its three dimensional top fading midway into a painted canvas above a lino print. It tells the story of a long ago conflict but is also a metaphor for Michael's own transition from military to civilian life. This is a large piece, approx. 200cm x 76cm, the size of a door – in fact it was a door. Now it is a totem for our campaign. Please note this item is for collection by the buyer only from the offices of The Independent and Evening Standard, unless otherwise agreed.
Lot 2: African trip of a lifetime with De Beers Group
De Beers diamonds
Take a once in a lifetime trip to Botswana courtesy of the De Beers Group to see a working diamond mine and experience an amazing safari. The winning bidder and a companion will be flown by business class from London to Gaborone via Johannesburg, staying overnight on arrival in one of Botswana’s finest hotels, the Lansmore Masa Square. The following day, they will be driven out to visit De Beers’ Jwaneng Mine, the world’s richest diamond mine and the origin of some of earth’s natural treasures before being whisked off to a luxury game drive with a chance to see Africa’s big five for a wonderful way to end this visit to southern Africa. Return business class flights complete this amazing offer. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; offer must be taken up (ie the tour completed) by end of November 2015. Not available to under-18s. The tour will comprise overnight return flights and four nights’ accommodation in South Africa/Botswana. Meals included. The winning bidders may, at their own cost and subject to agreeing time/date details with the De Beers Group, extend their stay in South Africa before returning to London if they so wish. Additional personal expenses excluded.
Lot 3: VIP Visit to Edinburgh Castle as no tourist will see it
Gunners from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fire a 21-Gun Royal Salute at Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Europe)
A very rare chance for 2 adults to go behind the scenes at the firing of Edinburgh Castle’s historic 1 O’clock Gun. Accompanied by the District Gunner, this unforgettable experience will then be followed by a private lunch in the Castle’s Officers’ Mess. Guests can then tour the Castle grounds at their own leisure. Attendance of a larger family group at the gun’s firing can be arranged. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; visit must be undertaken by the end of November 2015. Travel not included.
The Connor Brothers are two of the most notable contemporary artists to have emerged in recent years. They have sold out shows of their work around the world. ‘I tried to drown my sorrows’ – an edition of 8, signed and numbered – is typical of their brilliance. Mixed media on paper; 118cm x 74cm. Please note there may be additional charges if shipping outside the UK.
The Tour Fans of Corrie will recognise the cobbled streets of the show’s old Weatherfield set. Now you can surprise your family and friends with this unbookable private, guided tour of television’s most famous street for up to 20 people! A goodie bag of souvenirs will be thrown in for good measure for each attendee. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; offer must be taken up by the end of June 2015. Twenty people max, travel to the set not included.
Ever wondered whether you might make the papers? Now you can with a personalised Evening Standard front page featuring your story. You provide images and background details; we create the splash! You will receive a printed and framed copy of this one-off page –please note it will not feature in a published edition. We retain final copy approval but will endeavour to work with the winning bidder with regard to the main body text.
A model walks the runway at the Burberry Prorsum show during London Fashion Week SS15 on September 15, 2014 in London,England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
Experience the glamour of the catwalk with the chance to attend Burberry Prorsum’s Menswear autumn/winter show, which takes place during London Collections: Men, 9-12 January 2015. This prize will give you the perfect excuse for a grand day out in London, with pizzazz guaranteed! Only available to 16s and over only and please note the show (which is seated) lasts for 15 minutes or less and is currently scheduled for Monday 12 January (dates may be subject to change). Travel not included.
Lisa Markwell, editor of the Independent on Sunday
Shadow Lisa Markwell, editor of the award-winning Independent on Sunday, for a day at our offices in Kensington. Join her at editorial conference and see how a weekend paper unfolds. If you wish, you can "split" your day, coming in for forward planning early in the week then again on Saturday as deadline looms.
Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; offer must be taken up by the end of June 2015. Travel not included; not available to under-16s unless chaperoned by a parent.
Spend a week experiencing life and work at Heywood Hill bookshop, a favourite literary haunt of those in the know. Nancy Mitford was once a shop assistant here in London’s Mayfair. Placement available for 16 year old or over, to be completed in 2015. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; offer must be taken up by the end of December 2015. Travel not included; not available to under-16s.
Author David Nicholls (Hal Shinnie/ press image from Emma Knight)
Win a signed first edition of Us, a special hardback edition of One Day as well as signed copies of other books and scripts from the pen of celebrated novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls. A DVD of The 7.39 is on offer too as part of this brilliant package. There may be additional charges if shipping outside the UK.
Dave Brown, The Independent’s award-winning political cartoonist, has been tweaking the noses of the powerful and pompous for over forty years. Now is your chance to bid for an original piece of artwork – not a print or copy – from Dave’s mighty pen. Titled ‘IPA’, this cartoon, which appeared in The Independent on 24 October offers a brilliant commentary on the impact of Ukip’s emergence on Britain’s established political parties. There may be additional charges if shipping outside the UK.
See how a British icon is manufactured with a visit to the Rolls-Royce factory in Goodwood. Two adults will get to see behind the scenes at the home of perhaps the nation’s grandest and most famous cars. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; offer must be taken up between February 1 and December 1 2015. Travel to the factory not included; no under-12s.
Jon Speelman, the Independent Grandmaster chess player and columnist (Charlie Forgham-Bailey)
He defeated Garry Kasparov but can he beat you? Jon Speelman, Grandmaster and renowned chess writer will take you on and give you a masterclass for good measure. Your match will take in place in London at a mutually convenient time and date. Offer must be taken up by the end of June 2015. Travel not included; not available to under-16s unless accompanied by an adult.
An exciting tour of the world famous Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire for two people followed by lunch in the Pinewood restaurant. Pinewood is synonymous with world class British and international film and TV production. Its facilities have been used in the making of Skyfall, Star Wars, Exodus: Gods and Kings and many other recent blockbusters. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience (not available Friday-Sunday); offer must be taken up by 15 June 2015. Pinewood cannot guarantee access to any sets or stages. Photography is not allowed. Children under 12 not permitted. Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult. Travel not included.
The winner will accompany the literary editors of The Independent and Independent on Sunday to a glittering book launch in London, getting the chance to see how the world of literature announces a new work to an expectant public. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; offer must be taken up by the end of June 2015 unless otherwise agreed. A minimum of three alternative dates/times will be suggested. Please note the choice of book will be at the discretion of The Independent and Independent on Sunday. Travel not included. Not available to under-16s.
Lot 16: Dine with the Standard’s restaurant critic
The Standard’s restaurant critic Fay Maschler
Fay Maschler does not mince her words when it comes to giving her verdict on London’s great – and not so great – restaurants. Join her for a meal and see the Standard’s renowned restaurant critic in action. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience; offer must be taken up by the end of June 2015 unless otherwise agreed. A minimum of three alternative dates/times will be suggested. Please note the choice of restaurant will be at the discretion of the Evening Standard and Fay Maschler; we cannot guarantee that all restaurants will accommodate very specific dietary requirements. Meal may be lunch or dinner. Travel not included.
The winning bidder and up to three friends or family will experience a private, two hour guided tour of the famous Royal Hospital Chelsea, retirement home for former members of the British Army, in the company of one of the In-Pensioners. The tour will be followed by lunch with the Adjutant or another key member of staff of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in the beautiful Great Hall, where you will have a chance to see the magnificent mural of Charles II, painted by Antonio Verrio in the 17th Century. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience directly with the Royal Hospital Chelsea but offer must be taken up by the end of November 2015. Lunch will be taken with the Adjutant, Col Simon Bate, subject to his availability, or a suitable substitute. Travel not included.
London Live on the roof of the 02 in London (Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard)
Spend a day with the stars of London’s very own television channel, London Live. See how the news and current affairs teams work through the big stories of the day, tour our studio and control room and be lunched by the hosts of The Evening News and The Evening Show, Louise Scodie and Anthony Baxter. Date to be arranged by mutual convenience but offer must be taken up by the end of June 2015, unless otherwise agreed. Travel to and from London Live offices not included, offer only open to 16s and over.