MORE than £100,000 was raised for a disabilities charity at an art auction.

A two-day art exhibition and subsequent auction was held at St Giles House, Wimborne, by disabilities charity Diverse Abilities, featuring 29 donated pieces of work by several artists. The auction was hosted by the Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury who live in the Grade-I listed building.

The exhibited works raised more than £84,000 at the auction which, combined with money collected from ticket sales, a raffle, donations and souvenir postcards, took the total to more than £100,000, delighting bosses at the charity, which support children and adults with profound physical and learning disabilities across the county.

The money will go towards a £1m fundraising project to build a hydrotherapy pool for adults with disabilities in Dorset. So far, £300,000 has been raised.

Henrietta Young, curator and artist, said: "We were delighted with the interest shown in this wide-ranging and exciting show, delighted with the fantastic sum we raised at the auction - thanks to the enthusiasm expertly kindled by Mr Schwinge - but really delighted that so many more people now know and care about The Beehive, the excellent work done there, and the acute need for this pool. This is only the start."

Dorset Echo: St Giles House Picture: Historic EnglandSt Giles House Picture: Historic England

Helen Mortimer, development manager at the charity, said: "All of us at Diverse Abilities have been overwhelmed with the support of artists, volunteers and those who have bid.

"The hard work and generosity of all these people made this possible and has taken us a huge leap closer to building a therapy pool."

Artist Amy Shuckburgh said: "I was delighted to be asked to donate a picture to this charity and for such a worthwhile cause.

"The work I donated is part of a series exploring my experience of caring for children and seemed an appropriate piece to offer for the auction. One of my children has learning difficulties and this series on motherhood began as a way of processing and celebrating the particular challenge of caring for a child with special needs.

"The term 'special needs' has a bittersweet ring to it and, in any context and however special the needs, caring can be the hardest job and also the most rewarding."

For more information on the Splash Appeal, visit