It probably hasn’t escaped many people’s attention that this year is the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen. Here at Andrew Smith & Son we are situated in the midst of Austen country, and we are really proud to be involved with a great charity initiative this summer.
Following on the success of various sculpture trails throughout the world, The Ark Cancer Centre and Destination Basingstoke have joined forces with Wild in Art to produce a trail of 24 unique BookBenches celebrating the life of Jane Austen. Not a lot of people know that Jane was born in Basingstoke, and the trail follows her life journey throughout this part of the world. The benches have all been hand painted by various artists and are sponsored by local companies including Royal Mint, Winchester Cathedral, Festival Place, De La Rue, etc.
On 15th September the trail culminates in a Charity Auction taking place at the Ark Centre, Basingstoke, run by Andrew Smith & Son. We hope to raise as much money as possible by auctioning these unique benches. There are other ways to get involved too – there is a live app SittingWithJane, which follows the trail, and catalogues of the benches will be on sale later in the summer.
It’s all in aid of a great cause. The Ark Cancer Charity are hoping to raise £5million for a new cancer treatment centre to be built by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Their involvement will ensure the provision of a range of complementary and support therapies in one inspirational building that will offer a therapeutic, healing environment. We all know someone affected by cancer, so we want people to dig deep, get involved, and turn this trail into a huge success.
We are bringing our bench to our stand at the Alresford Show on 2nd September so that our clients and friends can all have the chance to sit with Jane.