Art auction benefits homeless locals

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The WSO team with Adam Partridge far right

The WSO team with Adam Partridge (far right)

Events in aid of Liverpool’s homeless community came to a successful conclusion on Monday with a lively art auction at the Brink on Parr Street.

The auction, headed by professional auctioneer and art expert Adam Partridge, featured original work donated by artists wanting to help Liverpool’s homeless with every penny made donated to the Whitechapel homeless centre.

The weekend’s fundraisers, conducted by charity organisation ‘We Shall Overcome’, included a series of music and comedy gigs along with art sales and food collections. The charity is an online community of vounteers nationwide aiming to help those in need.

Scale of the issue

  • Homelessness in Liverpool increased by 17% from July 2011 to June 2012 compared to the same period the previous year.
  • Figures show that 678 people applied to Liverpool City Council as homeless.
  • A further analysis by Homeless Link found that Liverpool saw a 200% rise in the number of rough sleepers between 2010 and 2011.
  • The life expectancy of a rough sleeper is much lower than average – just 42 years old.

Organiser Valerie Colvin told JMU Journalism: “During the auction I didn’t think things were going well at all, the audience was very small and even the WiFi was against us.

“However, when I got home and added up the totals I found we’d raised £2250 for The Whitechapel and £110 from a small raffle which all went to The Brink.We sold 75% of the art and everyone who purchased it got a bargain, success!”

Auctioneer Adam Partridge, who’s expertise has featured in shows such as Flog It!, Bargain Hunt, Dickinson’s Real Deal and Cash In the Attic, offered his services for free on the night.

He told JMU Journalism: “I do a lot of charity events and I try to help as many people as possible, there are many people less fortunate and so I would never think of charging for something like this. And also, it’s a great charity and so it will be a pleasure to be a part of.”

The weekend saw 135 towns and cities in the UK host events in aid of food banks and homeless charities.

Partridge was impressed with the organisation’s work, saying: “They approached me and I happily got involved.  I do three or four charity events a week which are always the same, either a ball or a dinner or something like that.

“But WSO puts a refreshing spin on it and I’m impressed at the layout of their auction and all the creative initiatives they’ve put on nationwide.”

WSO members with Everton FC's Steven Naismith

WSO members with Everton FC’s Steven Naismith

The organisation was also able to get Everton star Steven Naismith to sign a shirt that was auctioned off on Monday night.

Colvin added: “Steven is a regular supporter of homeless charities, here in Liverpool and in Glasgow. I knew Steven’s agent so I asked him if he would ask Steven to get involved, he and sports charity ‘Everton in The Community’ said yes straight away.”

WSO had 23 events in Liverpool this year, raising over £6,200. The charitable community has already started planning for next year choosing October 3rd to 9th as its dates for uniting in the name of helping the less fortunate.

About Leigh Kimmins, JMU Journalism