Shaun by the Sea Signs off in Style

Shaun by the Sea Signs off in Style

This autumn, our Shaun by the Sea art trail brought joy and colour to the streets of the city we’re so proud to serve at Martlets. 

After a record-breaking Farewell Weekend where almost 7,000 gathered to say their goodbyes to the bold and baa-rilliant designs, there was one last mission for our herd – to be sold off at auction, where bidders battled it out to own their own piece of Brighton history and help keep Martlets caring. 

Almost 300 people gathered into the Corn Exchange to take one last look at the sheep in situ, eyeing which one they had their designs on – as well as their bidding rivals. Superstar DJ and Martlets ambassador Fatboy Slim helped people get ready for putting their hands in the air with a partystarting set, before everyone was ushered through to the auditorium.  

Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook, DJing for the crowd

Fatboy Slim’s DJ set in the auditorium

After some introductory speeches and the trail-end film, the 45 lots went under the hammer. Our classic Shaun the Sheep kicked things off, selling for £8,000 to a duo from Northumberland who had driven over 7 hours to bag themselves a Shaun!  

Lot 21, a beautiful book bench featuring a little Shaun called Gratitude, was introduced by Martlets’ patient Marc Valentine, who features in the charity award-winning film Marc Story’s. The outpouring of love in the room was palpable and as a £10,000 bid came in, our auctioneer  encouraged others to club together and match-fund this up to £20,000. The sculpture has been donated back to Martlets where it will find a home in the gardens of the newly reopened Hospice in Hove.  

But the big bidding wasn’t done there, with lot 26, Tina Davies’ Shaun of the Rewilding going for £24,000 before Bloom, Faye Bridgwater’s celebration of all things floral made the highest amount – £25,000.  

As the final official lot, Joanna Osborne’s Shaun in the Sheep Jumper, raised £11,500, there was one last chance for everyone to win. Martlets nursing staff Jess Featherbe and Guy Chetwynd-Appleton asked people in the room to pay for a day’s care on our inpatient wards, with their speech helping to remind the room of just how important Martlets is. Every year, the charity’s specialist teams support over 3,000 local people with dignity and compassion through dying, death and bereavement.  

Crowd at the Shaun by the Sea auction

Our Shaun by the Sea auction audience

And with that, the curtain closed on Shaun by the Sea and an incredible night of fundraising for Martlets and the communities it serves. £385,800 was raised at the auction from sculpture sales alone and income from the trail stands at over £750,000.  

Martlets CEO Claire Irving said, It is the day after the night before and I am still blown away by the incredible atmosphere of love and generosity that surrounded Martlets last night at our Shaun by the Sea auction. Each of our Shauns was much loved and decorated beautifully by our artists.

To feel and see the energy in the room and to raise such an incredible amount from our supporters is something I will never forget.  On behalf of everyone who needs our care and support, I want to say a huge thank you.” 

Claire Irving and Marc with Bridget, Shaun by the Sea sculpture

Martlets CEO Claire Irving and Marc Valentine with Bridget

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Published 28/11/2023