Elephant-astic Art Sculptures find their Forever Homes

A mammoth £180,000 was raised at the Herd In The City Auction, bringing the grand total raised for the whole art trail to £580,000.

The grand finale of Herd In The City took place at Saxon Hall, Aviation Way on 26th September, marking the end of the exciting fundraiser that stomped across Southend-on-Sea, Leigh-on-Sea and Shoeburyness during the summer.

Over 120 guests attended the thrilling auction to spectate and bid on these unique pieces of art, as well as several people bidding online and via the telephone locally and across the country. Mayor of Southend Stephen Habermel and MP for Southend West Anna Firth were in attendance to support the finale of the art trail which has brought so much joy to the community.

Charlie Langhorne from Wild In Art holding a baby elephant sculpture in the crowd

Charles Hanson, known for his appearances on TV’s Bargain Hunt and Flog It! hosted the auction alongside Charlie Langhorne, Director of Wild in Art and Havens Hospices Patron Su Harrison welcomed guests at the start of the night to thank everybody in the room, and those bidding online and via the telephone for their incredible support. Rayleigh-based auctioneers, Stacey’s generously donated their time to help manage bids online and via the telephone.

To bring home the importance of the campaign, nurses from both Fair Havens and Little Havens were in attendance as well as families who use the services of Havens Hospices, to show their appreciation and speak about what the charity means to them and the impact of donations on those living with incurable conditions locally.

Sherry Eaglestone, Associate Head of Community Development, part of the Fair Havens Community Team, gave a moving speech halfway through the auction. She said: “People often ask me how I do my job and my answer remains the same, ‘easily’. Over my career, I have met the most amazing people, not only do I help them but they help me too. Havens Hospices is a lifeline to our families. No matter who you are or where you come from, we always strive to deliver the highest standard of care to everyone, which I am immensely proud of. Without wonderful people like you, we would not be able to continue to deliver care to the people in our community.”

One by one, 45 elephant sculptures such as ‘Nelly’, ‘Living the Dream’ and ‘Do Not Feed the Birds’ were all bid on by keen new owners to brighten offices, homes, and gardens.

‘Sharman the Starman’ by Catherine Ullo, sponsored by the Gateway Group, got the highest bid of the night, going under the hammer for a staggering £20,000, which saw a standing ovation from the room.

The second highest bid was for the beautiful Rainforest IV sculpture by Ruth Green, selling for £10,500. The joint third highest bids were for the popular seafront favourite A Day Out to the Seaside by Sally Chinea and Living the Dream by Jenny Sexton, both selling for £10,000.

Charles Hanson with three nurses from Havens Hospices on stage encouraging bids from the audience

Each unique design leaves a lasting legacy of the popular art trail and lucky new owners were thrilled to know that not only do they own a piece of Herd In The City, but that they have helped raise vital funds for Havens Hospices.

One of the local artists who came to see their art piece being sold was Stuart Belton. Stuart’s striking and colourful design ‘Where the Heart is’ sold for £2,300. He said: “It’s been an incredible experience to do this for Havens Hospices and to be selected by the sponsors Charles Stanley as well means so much. I didn’t think when I applied, I would be here. I have learnt so much as well – I usually draw on paper, not on elephants!”

Vanessa Harvey, Project Manager of Herd In The City at Havens Hospices said, “The atmosphere was amazing, thank you to every single person who has supported the grand finale of the Herd In The City Trail at our Auction night.

“To all our partners, sponsors, artists, volunteers and trail-goers, Herd In The City would not have been possible without you, thank you for helping us celebrate what has been an incredible summer of fun, creativity and fundraising.

“We’ve been delighted by all the generosity and positivity the trail has brought to so many people in our local communities, even those far and wide. This project has been 18 months in the making, and it was truly the perfect end to a wonderful art trail, leaving a lasting legacy for years to come.

“To all those who brought a sculpture, to own such a stunning piece is incredibly exciting and we hope it brings you joy knowing you’re supporting an amazing charity. The money raised for Havens Hospices on the night was staggering, helping us continue to provide specialist care and support to people of all ages who need us and deserve the best possible care.”

The charity is asking those who have participated in the Herd In The City art trail to give their thoughts about their experience. The feedback will help the charity to develop future trails and events, raising money for local families living with complex or incurable conditions.

All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 OneforAll voucher thanks to sponsor Luke Hilton Racing. Complete the survey by Sunday 1st October at https://cvent.me/r93xrE.

Published 27th September 2023



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Two nurses from Havens Hospices presenting the total raised on the night of the auction, £180,000, on a screen