By Daniel Hunter

The streets of London have been taken over by life-size Olympic mascots — and now they are to be auctioned off in aid of the Mayor’s Fund for London, it has been announced.

The spectacular, life-sized “Wenlocks” have been customized by leading artists and are standing proud on plinths around the capital. Seven of these iconic mascots are going to become part of an online auction today to raise money for the charity. The remaining customized mascots will also be added to the auction over the coming days.

The Mayor’s Fund for London was established to help improve the lives of London’s most disadvantaged children and the seven Olympic mascots — including “Groovy Wenlock” (currently on display in Regent Street) and “Plane Tree Wenlock” (situated in Berkeley Square) — are the first of a series of items to be auctioned for the charity.

Over the coming days and weeks, the Wenlocks will be joined by a host of exciting Olympic memorabilia that have been especially selected to help raise money for the Fund.

“The Olympics are an incredible platform for London,” says Paulette Rowe, Chair of the Mayor’s Fund for London. “This auction gives us the opportunity to create a lasting legacy for disadvantaged, young Londoners. The Olympic motto of ‘Inspiring a Generation’ goes to the heart of what The Mayor’s Fund for London is all about. The money raised through the proceeds of the auction will help to inspire and improve the life chances of London’s most disadvantaged children by ensuring they have the skills and support to succeed.”

The Mayor of London and Patron of the Mayor's Fund, Boris Johnson said: “This is a once in a lifetime chance to bid for truly iconic Olympic Games memorabilia and help out our young people in need. Wenlock and Mandeville are the life-sized embodiments of the excitement of London 2012 and people will be purchasing a small piece of history. The funds will go towards turning round the lives of children in the capital which is a great Games legacy. I encourage everyone interested in our marvellous mascots to get bidding.”

The statues will be auctioned on the official London 2012 auction website: www.london2012.com/auction with net proceeds from participating items going directly to the Mayor's Fund for London. Just look out for “Mayor of London Presents” on the auction website to find the special fundraising items.
The organisers are encouraging people to check the website regularly as further mascots and other exciting pieces of Olympic history join the fundraising auction.

“We’re encouraging people to help create a better future for the next generation by bidding as much as they can to own a truly unique piece of London's Olympic history,” adds Paulette Rowe, Chair of the Mayor’s Fund for London.

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