Big Sleuth raises a bear-ly believable £250,000

The Big Sleuth

Birmingham’s big summer fundraising campaign, The Big Sleuth, has raised more than £250,000 for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

In total, 91 of the brightly-decorated bears went under the hammer at a special auction at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, yesterday.

The bears have spent the summer being displayed at prominent locations throughout the city, attracting thousands of additional visitors – many diligently following the special Bear Trail so they could tick off as many of the creatures as possible.

Fundraisers said they were delighted with the £257,300 received on the night. However, the figure is less than half of the £530,000 that was raised by the similar Big Hoot campaign two years ago.

The auction attracted more than 200 people, with thousands more following online, as collectors submitted their bids for their favourite bear.

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.

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.”

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, director of Big Sleuth organiser, 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.

“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.”

Brummie Bear with ‘Bobby’ Slobodan Topalovic

The top 10 bears were:

Buzz (artist Julia Allum) – £9,000
Peony Passion (Michelle Turton) – £8,000
The Bear That Cares (Lynsey Brecknall & Kieron Reilly) – £7,000
Mother Bear (Jenny Tang) – £6,200
Sweet William (Caroline Jariwala) – £6,100
Peaky Blinders (Jon Jones) – £5,900
Bradley’s Bear (Donna Newman) – £5,500
Jungle Jenny (Jenny Leonard) – £5,400
Brummie Bear (Slobodan Topalovic) – £5,000

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...