An Exmouth man hopes to raise £5,000 for Hospiscare with an online art auction to support the charity as it copes with fundraising losses during COVID-19.
George Hill, of Nursery Close, Withycombe Raleigh, is asking people to support the event because the charity, which helps terminally ill patients and their families across Exeter, East and Mid Devon, faces losing £1million over the next three months through closed charity shops and cancelled events because of the coronavirus lockdown.
George, who has been furloughed from print group Brightsea, in Clyst Honiton, said the response to the auction has been ‘overwhelming’.
Earlier this month he appealed for artists to donate work to auction, attracting more than 100 lots.
George said a minimum of £1,500 will be raised if all lots sell for the starting price.
He said: “I thought while people are bored in lockdown, what better time to get painting, drawing and getting creative.
“I felt so frustrated that I couldn’t help Hospiscare while I am furloughed from work.
“The charity is a client of the company I work for so I thought I would start an online auction and try to raise a few hundred quid.
“The response from the art community and the general public so far has been overwhelming.
“I can’t thank them enough for supporting this auction.
“I have been sent some beautiful art from local amateurs which is great, but I also have some amazing high-end gallery pieces too.
“The quality and generosity of people has been outstanding. All I need to do now is to make sure enough people get bidding.
“This is a great opportunity for people to support their local hospice and get their hands on some beautiful artwork.”
The online auction takes place on Facebook and the bidding opens at 9am on Sunday, April 26 and will run for a week, until 10pm, on Sunday, May 3.
There are more than 100 lots to bid for, including jewellery, oils and acrylic on canvas, pottery, modern art, fashion, stained glass, mixed media and photography.
There is still time for further donations of artwork to be included in the sale.
Bids are left under the item’s photograph and the highest bidder can collect their artwork after lockdown has been lifted, or have it sent by the artist.
George said he was ‘counting on the trust and kindness of strangers’ to make the event work safely and successfully.
Sarah Smith, Hospiscare head of public fundraising, said: “We are so grateful to George for doing this for Hospiscare.
“We are devastated that so many of our planned fundraising events have had to be cancelled during the pandemic.
“But thanks to many like-minded and creative people coming up with amazing ideas to raise money online, we are able to keep going and are buoyed by the amazing amount of love and support shown from the oublic at such a strange and worrying time.
“We really hope that everyone gets behind this auction and we can flood the county with art for Hospiscare.”
Photographs of the auction lots can be seen on the Art Auction for Hospiscare Facebook page.
Buyers pay for their item through a dedicated JustGiving page to donate their payment direct to Hospiscare.
Buyers and sellers can arrange collection or delivery of won lots.
Other online fundraisers for Hospiscare include activity packs to keep adults and children occupied during lockdown, which can be downloaded for a small donation here.
And Share Your Hair for Hospiscare, Donate and post photos of your new lockdown locks look, home haircut, dyed hair, beards or barnet, on the Facebook page here