Friday, 13 March 2020

Hail Hail, The Celts are here - again!

The coronavirus might yet postpone or prevent Celtic's quest for ten league titles in a row but we wanted to get this collector's item out there and invite bids in support of Ben and  Finlay's behavioural program!

It's a long and complicated tale as to how we got our hands on this but it does trace back to club captain Scott Brown whose wife apparently goes running with a friend of Ben and Finlay's auntie!! So, there you are!

Celts will instantly point to this being last season's (2018/19) away shirt but we can provide every reassurance that the signatures are from this season's first team squad. The shirt is Large Boys' size.

Bidding is only open for one week, please share this with any Celts you think may be interested - thanks again everyone! Please see the auction rules below.

Collector's Item
Celtic FC Away Shirt from 2018/19 signed by the 2019/20 first team squad  – www.celticfc.net – thank you to  the Fitzpatrick family







 Final Bid = £100


Usual rules apply as follows - 

Bidding starts at 1000 hours on Saturday 14 March 2020 and the auction closes at 2200 on Saturday 21 March 2020. All bids timestamped before the closure time will be considered.

All bids must be made by email to benandfinlay@gmail.com. All bids will be acknowledged by email. 

Bids should be in whole pounds only.

Bidders should note that the auction administration is undertaken by a small number of people (ie one person) therefore updates cannot always be done immediately. It may be that someone has outbid you in an earlier email that we haven't had the opportunity to update on the blog.

We will not advise you if you have been outbid.

The auctioneer’s decision is final.

The winning bidder will be notified by 1700 on 22 March 2020

The shirt will be dispatched once payment has been received and confirmed. Where it has to be sent by post, the winning bidder will cover the postage. 

All proceeds go to Ben and Finlay's program. Good luck everyone!


Friday, 3 January 2020

January Sale! Calling all Celts....

We're a little behind everyone else with our new year sale but living with autism and a learning disability, that isn't unusual!

We hoped to have this item available for bidding in the boys' final '12 Days of Christmas' auction, however it has only just become available. We are therefore opening this up to bids. This is a fantastic item, obtained on our behalf by former Celt Jock McStay.

Bidding is only open for one week, please share this with any Celts you think may be interested - thanks again everyone! Please see the auction rules below.


Real Collector's Item
Celtic FC Home Shirt signed by the first team squad  – www.celticfc.net – thank you Jock McStay and the Fitzpatrick family







 Highest Bid = £160


Usual rules apply as follows - 

Bidding starts at 1000 hours on Friday 03 January 2020 and the auction closes at 2200 on Friday 10 January 2020. All bids timestamped before the closure time will be considered.

All bids must be made by email to benandfinlay@gmail.com. All bids will be acknowledged by email. 

Bids should be in whole pounds only.

Bidders should note that the auction administration is undertaken by a small number of people (ie one person) therefore updates cannot always be done immediately. It may be that someone has outbid you in an earlier email that we haven't had the opportunity to update on the blog.

We will not advise you if you have been outbid.

The auctioneer’s decision is final.

The winning bidder will be notified by 1700 on 11 January 2020

The shirt will be dispatched once payment has been received and confirmed. Where it has to be sent by post, the winning bidder will cover the postage. 

All proceeds go to Ben and Finlay's ABA program. Good luck everyone!


Friday, 13 December 2019

The End.......

After doing this for ten years nothing surprises  me anymore but I didn't expect a bidding war for a Raith Rovers shirt, Raith Rovers hospitality and a cut and finish at Charlie Millar!!

I often grumble where a round pound is added to a bid (that's very ungrateful of me but it's only because that pound involves me doing three things, updating my spreadsheet, updating the blog then acknowledging the bid) but we are so very thankful for those pound increases because without them we would not have beaten our previous highest total from 2016 (£7851) by a single pound (honestly!!!) whereby Ben and Finlay's final '12 Days of Christmas' auction has raised the fantastic grand total of - 

£7852

The hardest work of course will start now in communicating with all the winners and then doing our very best to get everything dispatched as quickly as possible.

The fabulous sum raised provides great certainty as to our future relationship with Skybound Therapies who have been central to driving the boys' development and progress.

This will be our last auction - although we will have news soon of a mini auction for two very exciting items that didn't quite make this one - it's a huge task especially when you combine it with other busy aspects of our lives. We are very fortunate to have so many great supporters who believe in our boys  and our journey. We will always be grateful to you for your kindness and generosity in donating items and bidding so freely on them. We cannot continue to rely on that benevolence however and need to apply ourselves in securing the long-term future of our boys' developmental path. We are determind to do that, it is the least they deserve.

Merry Christmas everyone, it's a hard time for us so we will now lie low and spend quality time with our delightful wee boys. 

For Ben and Finlay!


Sunday, 17 November 2019

Follow The Rules You Must.....





Before everyone embarks on a volley of bidding in our ninth and final annual festive fundraising auction for our wee boys' Skybound consultancy, please, please, please take just a few minutes to read other parts of this blog that explain why we are doing this, please.

#rememberautismisforlifenotjustforchristmas


Here are the rules for Ben and Finlay's '12 Days of Christmas' fundraising auction - 

Bidding starts at 0001 hours on Sunday 01 December 2019 and the auction closes at midnight on Thursday 12 December 2019. All bids timestamped before the closure time will be considered.

All bids must be made by email to benandfinlay@gmail.com. All bids will be acknowledged by email. Please, please, please state the item number you are bidding on.

Bids by text and Facebook will not be accepted. 

Bids should be in whole pounds only.

Bidders should note that the auction administration is undertaken by a small number of people (ie one person) therefore updates cannot always be done immediately. It may be that someone has outbid you in an earlier email that we haven't had the opportunity to update on the blog.

There is an obligation on bidders to maintain an overview of those items they have bid on as auction administration will not advise you if you have been outbid.

The auctioneer’s decision is final.

Winning bidders will be notified by 0000 on 14 December 2019

Please be patient, we will contact winning bidders by this time. Remember we are managing over 175 separate items.

Items will be dispatched once payment has been received and confirmed. We will strive to deliver before Christmas but this relies on you paying timeously and us having the opportunity to quickly post things, Christmas delivery therefore cannot be guaranteed.

Where items have to be sent by post, the winning bidder will cover the postage. Please note that alcohol will not be sent beyond the UK.

We welcome any queries or questions about the various items on offer via the boys' e-mail address benandfinlay@gmail.com, we'll get back to you with an answer as quickly as possible. 

Happy bidding everyone! 

Please keep sharing with your family and friends, we really do appreciate your support. 



Friday, 11 October 2019

The Last Nöel.....


As most of our true supporters will know, we have been running a self-funded ABA program for Ben and Finlay since 2011. In that time the boys have made remarkable progress and those who follow their adventures on Facebook will see some great examples of this. Like all of you though, of course we only post the best bits on social media and we are very aware that as problems and challenges are tackled, new ones quickly surface to take their place. The boys are now 11 and we are starting to think about puberty with all the changes that will bring and wondering how we help the boys to understand and deal with it all. The program is self-funded, a quite considerable outlay each year but the boys more than justify this investment. We will always be grateful to the many generous people and charities that make it all possible and to the boys’ tutors and consultants, Skybound Therapies, without whom we don't know where we would be.

We try to fund the day-to-day stuff ourselves by both working (most families where their children have disabilities like the boys have at least one parent who does not work) and using our savings. We use fundraising to pay for the extras, the things that keep the program fresh, interesting and motivating for the boys. This includes our Skybound consultants who expose the boys to the best possible occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and behavioural therapy. We could not keep moving our boys forward without the help and direction provided by Skybound who are so innovative in this field.  

We know the boys’ disability is so profound that they will live with us as long as we are able to look after them (hopefully a long, long time yet!) and then who knows what the future will hold for them. They will not lead an independent life but what we are striving to do via their home program is teach them living skills and functional communication (the boys are non-verbal) via the app Proloquo2Go, so that when they are cared for by others they can hopefully communicate their needs and wants and be understood. If you think how far they have come in the last few years in terms of important life skills, we believe they are a good investment but of course we are biased!

Our program is expensive to run, however we tend to focus on the spend to save principle that by investing in the boys now, we will hopefully reap the benefits in future years.

It's just a pity that local services don't think the same way.

It's therefore time to start planning the annual extravaganza that is Ben and Finlay's '12 Days of Christmas' auction to help meet these costs.

The auction entails a vast amount of work as apart from our expert webmaster Colin, we do it all ourselves.

So! We will once again be hosting the boys’ auction between 01 December and 12 December 2019 but this will be our LAST auction. We of course hugely appreciate everyone who has supported this event in previous years, particularly those who have donated the many wonderful lots and those who have bid so freely in securing them. We appreciate that we cannot keep asking the same people for help time and again so we have decided to make this our final year. We also cannot commit the time to managing this event given the boys are getting older and going to bed later and as such our free time diminishes.

We are very conscious that there are also so many other equally deserving causes but seek your indulgence one final time as part of the collective push to help our beautiful boys reach their true potential.

We do hope friends and family will chose to help us this one final time. It is never expected but always appreciated

Please everyone, have a look around your homes and workplaces and see if there is anything new that you can donate as a lot in our final auction. Let's finish with a bang!

We welcome all donations with open arms, be it a bottle of whisky, a voucher for dinner or a unique souvenir. 

Over the years, we've been incredibly fortunate in securing lots of fabulous lots. We've had everything from a speedboat trip, to a light aircraft flight, to a trip up the towers of the Forth Road Bridge, to a fourball at Gleneagles, to a villa in Spain for a week, to dinner at the Kitchin, to a suite in the Witchery and much, much more!! 

We would also welcome your suggestions of any businesses or organisations that would be worth approaching for a lot. We have letters prepared that we are happy to share if anyone thinks they have a friend or contact who may be able to support us.

We offer truly global exposure and last year achieved a record 25,000+ viewers over the two weeks of business. Hopefully businesses will see this as a valuable marketing opportunity!

We will hopefully have our old favourites but would love some new and different items to generate yet more interest in our two little stars. Speaking of stars, we always have room for a special star item to sit atop the tree; does anyone have a star quality item that could be an instant hit??


With your support we look forward to another fantastic event. Thank you; you don’t know how much your support means! For Ben and Finlay....