BEARS ROARING SUCCESS
By Ann Evans
Photos Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography
Birmingham’s Big Sleuth bears raised an amazing £257,300 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, at a Big Sleuth Auction on 12th October. Ann Evans tells us more.
Ninety-one bear sculptures went under the hammer at the Big Sleuth Auction held at the Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum on the evening of 12st October. With over 200 people in the auction room and more than 7,000 watching live online, bear enthusiasts and art collectors bid on their favourite bears from the trail with successful bidders taking one home. Among them was an anonymous bidder who placed the highest bid of the night, winning Buzz, by artist Julia Allum and sponsored by University of Birmingham for £9,000.
The Big Sleuth, presented by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art, has won the hearts and minds of everyone in Bear-mingham and beyond this summer, after bringing the streets alive with colour and activity as colleagues, friends and families took to the streets to discover the bears.
Fans of The Big Sleuth also enjoyed some special surprise guest appearances last night, including the Peaky Blinders, a special video message from pop-rock star Bradley Simpson from The Vamps and characters from Cadbury World, who distributed chocolates around the room.
Funds raised from the sale of the bears at auction will go towards Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity who fund life-changing initiatives to make a child’s stay in hospital that bit more bear-able.
Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed with the response to The Big Sleuth Auction, and are thrilled to have raised £257,300 for our hospital’s charity. The money raised will make a huge difference to the 90,000 sick kids our hospital cares for each year and we can’t thank our bidders and everyone involved in the project enough for their support.
“We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of the artists, sponsors, schools, buyers and the public for their fantastic support in reaching this figure. Your support has been immeasurable, and we could not have done it without the passion and enthusiasm of all involved.”
Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art, added: “It has been an absolute privilege to once again be working with Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. Congratulations to everyone involved for staging a fun, family friendly art event that all generations enjoyed and from which the whole city benefited – it goes to show that nothing is impossible when there is determination, collaboration and passion! The Big Sleuth will forever leave fond and happy memories of a summer when the bears came to the region and helped Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity continue its invaluable work.”
To find out more about Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, and how to support initiatives like this in the future visit: https://www.bch.org.uk/