AN animal refuge which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic is auctioning off several original artworks from local and professional artists to raise vital funds.

The National Animal Welfare Trust, located in The Street, Little Clacton, relies on donations from the public in order to be able to rehome abandoned dogs and cats.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, however, the number of animals volunteers have been able to help has diminished, as has the charity’s financial income.

Throughout the lockdown the organisation has run a series of fundraising drives to help boost its money pot, and it is now holding an online art auction.

“Earlier this year, we appealed to amateur and professional artists for donations of original artwork of local towns, seascapes and landscapes,” a spokesman said.

“We now have a range of beautiful artworks on offer ready to brighten up your home, office, business or to gift a loved one.”

The virtual auction includes a vast range of stunning works which depict everything from a glorious Frinton sunset to Clacton’s calming seafront gardens.

It is currently taking place on the trust’s social media page, which has a gallery of the pieces, which are captioned with the names of the artist and further information.

It works by bidders commenting on one of the photos with a price they are willing to pay, and then, just like normal auctions, the highest bidder wins.

“It is all for a great cause as we aim to raise vital funds for our homeless cats and dogs,” the spokesman added.

“The beautiful collections includes art of locations including Clacton, Harwich, and St Osyth and involves materials including acrylics, pencil, oils and water colours.

“So, we say a huge thank you to our talented bunch of artists, and good luck everyone, happy bidding, and thank you for your support, because we do need all the help we can get.”

The National Animal Welfare Trust’s online auction closes at 9pm on August 26, and bids made after this time will now be counted.

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