Big Heart Auction raises £38,500 for Chestnut Tree House and Brighton Dome


The Big Heart Auction 2016 was a very special charity art auction in which over 200 artworks were generously donated by professional local, national and celebrity artists, illustrators and photographers from across Sussex and beyond.

The online auction ran on eBay from 1-10 July and raised an incredible £38,500 for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, which provides live art experiences for life limited children through its Umbrella Club. This is a 30% increase on the total raised in the inaugural Big Heart Auction in 2015.

The auction included a wonderfully varied collection of works from artists from right across Sussex and beyond, including well-known names such as children’s illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, abstract colourist David Armitage, Pippa Blake, Alan Rankle, Phillipa Cannan, Barbara Burns, and street artist Cassette Lord. In addition, a number of Sussex celebrities also created unique pieces for the auction including actors Julie Graham, Carol Cleveland, Chris Ellison and Hugh Bonneville, as well as popular jazz musician Gregory Porter and Heart FM’s Breakfast Team, Tom Evans, Nicola Hume, Jack the Lad and newsreader Marcella Whittingdale.

The auction also included a number of pieces created by the children at Chestnut Tree House, which proved very popular in the bidding. Plus a number of school and college students from across Sussex supported the charity auction by donating some wonderful artworks. Schools involved included Chichester College, Bishop Luffa School in Chichester, Seaford College, Downs View Link College in Brighton, Steyning Grammar School and St John’s School and College in Brighton.

All the works were available to purchase via the online auction on eBay with all details on our website

The top three artworks sold in the Big Heart Auction were Sir Quentin Blake’s The Art Bird, Alexandra Kay’s Reflection and Veronique Maria’s Manifest 1, raising nearly £3k between them.

Sarah Arnold, Head of Fundraising Development at Chestnut Tree House, commented “Chestnut Tree House has to raise £3.5million every year to support the 300+ families right across Sussex who need our help. We get just 7% of that from local government funding and the rest is raised through our many fundraising initiatives such as the Big Heart Auction. Without the generosity of our patrons who give in so many ways throughout the year, we simply couldn’t help these families who are so very deserving. I’d like to say an enormous thank you to all the artists who have donated to this year’s Big Heart Auction and to everyone who bid on or bought their works, as every penny given goes a long way.”

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said “We are delighted at the success of this year's Big Heart Auction and extremely grateful to all those who have supported it by bidding on the artworks as well as the artists who have so generously donated them.”

The 2016 Big Heart Auction couldn’t have taken place without the generous support of both our headline sponsors Green People and Classic Consulting, both of whom have been long standing supporters of Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.