Birmingham was roaring with excitement last night, Thursday 12 October, as 91 bear sculptures raised £257,300 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity at The Big Sleuth Auction.
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.
With over 200 people in the auction room and over 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 top 10 bear sales were:
Buzz by Julia Allum – £9,000
Peony Passion by Michelle Turton – £8,000
The Bear That Cares by Lynsey Brecknall and Kieron Reilly £7,000
Mother Bear by Jenny Tang – £6,200
Sweet William by Caroline Jariwala – £6,100
Peaky Blinders by Jon Jones – £5,900
Bradley’s Bear by Donna Newman – £5,500
Jungle Jenny by Jenny Leonard – £5,400
Brummie Bear by Slobodan Topalovic – £5,000
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.”
The auction took place at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. 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/