The homelessness charity, St Petroc’s, hosted a silent auction to sell the artwork created by clients at their weekly art groups.
St Petroc’s sold 22 paintings and raised a total of £1000. The money for the artwork will go back to the clients, whilst the money raised for the anonymous artists will be held by the charity until claimed.
Jayne Howard, founder and Managing Director of Arts well, a social enterprise that uses the arts to improve well-being, said the campaign was an opportunity to have “the clients at the heart of the work.”
Howard has worked with St Petroc’s on the exhibition and previous creative projects, such as a book released last year to mark the 30th Anniversary of the charity.
She said: “The thing that really amazes me is that you look at this work and the people who have made this work are living in really difficult circumstances and yet they still come in and sit down and make something.
“For me, that’s just massive really and it shows to me that we all do have a need to be creative and we all need to express ourselves no matter how difficult the circumstances in which we’re living.”
Work auctioned was part of a six month long exhibition that toured the county, starting at Truro Cathedral in October last year in order to raise awareness of street homelessness.
Jacquie Gammon, Cornwall Councillor for the Bodmin St Mary’s division said that the event is “incredibly important” in regards to raising awareness of homelessness in Cornwall.
She added: “Raising awareness is important because some people choose to be homeless, some people are homeless through no fault of their own. As they say we’re only two pay checks away from being like that ourselves possibly and everyone has got a story.
“It could be me, it could happen to anyone and that’s the important thing.”
Between April 2016 and March 2017, St Petroc’s provided emergency overnight shelter for 59 single homeless people during winter but are still in need of accommodation services.
Justin Day, Company Secretary at St Petroc’s, said: “Our service manager said after cold weather provision we need more accommodation so we’re going to use the funds we raise we’re going to go out to private landlords and we’re going to ask them to let their properties to the society.
“It’s a win-win for everyone and we desperately need more accommodation to get the people off the streets.”
Whilst the silent auction marked the end of this phase of a really successful campaign for St Petroc’s, a new creative campaign will be launched in the autumn.
To learn more about St Petroc’s and what they do, you can take a look on their website here.