St Catherine's Hospice HeART to Heart trail, headline sponsored by Thakeham, brought joy to parks, high streets, shopping centres and cultural venues across Surrey and Sussex throughout the summer. But the popular trail came to a thrilling end on Wednesday (30 October) when the 26 beautiful heart sculptures, were sold at an exclusive auction.
Over 100 people came together to place a bid on a heart they loved, to try to make it theirs forever. There was plenty of competitive bidding and in total more than £50,000 was raised. Ellie Our Angel attracted the highest bid on the night, selling for £12,000. And For the Love of Nature and Doreen also proved popular, selling for £10,000 and £4,000. In total, the HeART to Heart trail has raised more than £170,000 towards providing care and support to local terminally ill people and their family and friends.
Welland Medical were thrilled to win the Bee Kind heart. Chris Primett, Managing Director, said, "St. Catherine's has been our company's charity for over 10 years and many of our employees have a special connection with their unique work. This heart is in special memory of one of our colleagues, who recently lost his fight with cancer, and the years he spent designing products to help improve the lives of others. The heart will take pride of place in our office for everyone to enjoy."
Matt Turner was also a winning bidder of two hearts - Keepsake and Abstract Love. He said "I'm an art enthusiast so I was very keen to own some of these amazing works of art. My wife was fan of Keepsake; we've only been married a year and I wanted to treat her. I chose Abstract Love as it will look fantastic in the office."
As part of the evening, bidders heard from Wendy Buckingham, whose husband Ken was cared for by St Catherine's. She shared the impact of the hospice's care on her family and asked people to bid as generously as possible.
And bidders were in safe hands with experienced auctioneer, Hugh Edmeades. Hugh said, "I've led hundreds of auctions but it was wonderful to be a part of something that has clearly meant so much to the local community. Each of the hearts had its own story to tell and I'm thrilled that we were able to raise so much money for such a worthy cause."
Hannah Liles, St Catherine's Events Manager said, "HeART to Heart has been an incredibly special project for our hospice. And the response from our community has been amazing. People have really supported our hearts and HeART to Heart activities. So our auction was a fitting end! It's sad seeing the hearts go but it's lovely that they've found new homes. And people's generosity has been overwhelming. Overall HeART to Heart has raised more than £170,000. This will help St Catherine's to provide more care and support to more terminally ill people, and their family and friends, in the future. It will make a huge difference to people in the community all around us. On behalf of the hospice and all those we care for, I'd like to thank all the artists, sponsors and supporters who've made HeART to Heart such a success."
St Catherine's can currently only care for one in three people. But with the support of the community, the hospice wants to make sure that in the future no one has to face death and loss alone. The success of HeART to Heart has taken the local charity a step closer to this ambition.