Snooks Auction raises over £27K for local charities through successful event

Make It York proudly announces the success of the Snooks auction event, which has raised an impressive £27,050 through generous bids to support St Leonard’s Hospice and the York Creates Fund. 

Held on Thursday 9 May 2024 at York Barbican, the evening unfolded with an atmosphere of excitement and philanthropy as attendees gathered to bid on the 22 four-and-a-half-foot Snooks sculptures which formed part of the Snooks Trail in York during March and April 2024. 

The evening was made even more memorable by the captivating auctioneer Derek Matthewson, known from the popular TV series “Bangers and Cash,” alongside the charming host Mad Alice, from the award-winning “The Bloody Tour of York”. 

On the night, some of the highest bids on the Snooks included All Creatures Great and Small, designed by Amy Husband, which was sold for an impressive £3,000; Secret Garden (‘Mistlethwaite’), designed by Amy Bourbon, which went for £1,950; and Webbo, designed by Gemma Wood, which went for £1,500. 

Amongst the VIP guest list was 9-year-old Annie O’Shaughnessy, from Holgate, who was saving up her pocket money to bid on EY UP…It’s a Snook. After a close bidding competition, and a little help from a friend, she succeeded in securing her favourite sculpture to great applause from the guests. 

Sarah Loftus, Manager Director of Make It York, said: “I am thrilled by the overwhelming support shown by our community. The success of this event radiated positivity and showed the collective power in highlighting the work of such worthy causes.  

Together, we have made a significant impact on St Leonard’s Hospice’s work that helps families going through difficult end-of-life care, and York Creates Fund that brings cultural and creative activity in the city. I am immensely grateful for the generosity shown by everyone who attended on the day and online in raising the funds.  

Beyond the auction, the event served as a reminder of the power of community and the significance of coming together to support causes that resonate with our shared values.” 

James Wainwright, Head of Fundraising at St Leonard’s Hospice, said: “Here at St Leonard’s, we are constantly amazed by the power and passion of our community.  

The Snooks Trail was definitely a new way for us to engage with people! We’ve loved being involved and are grateful that local people of all ages, as well as others from across the country and indeed the globe, supported the trail and generously contributed to the auction on 9 May.  

St Leonard’s Hospice relies on the generosity of the public to carry out our vital work, caring for people with life-limiting illnesses.” 

St Leonard’s Hospice is a leading provider of palliative and end-of-life care across York and North Yorkshire. It cares for people with a range of life limiting illnesses including cancer, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s disease. It also provides bereavement support for anyone in the community dealing with grief. St Leonard’s vision is that everyone living with a life-limiting illness has access to the best possible care and will be supported to die well.  

Services at St Leonard’s Hospice include a specialist in-patient unit providing round the clock care, Hospice@Home, a Carer Support Service, a Single Point of Coordination telephone service and wellbeing drop-in sessions.  

Last year the Hospice cared for more than 1,000 local people. While the care is always provided free of charge, it is not free to provide. As it only receives 27% of its funding from the Government, St Leonard’s must raise £6 million a year to run all its services. Its unrivalled care is only possible thanks to the generosity of the public. 



Notes to Editors: 

Download picturesCredit: as per in photo title.  


About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities. These are: City positioning and profile-raising; Ensuring an exciting city centre; Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy.  

About St Leonard’s Hospice 

St Leonard’s Hospice is an independent charity, providing specialist palliative care, and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses. We’re dedicated to providing support tailored to the specific needs of patients, and their families and carers, with a wide range of services offered in a relaxed and friendly environment where care is taken personally. 

About York Creates Fund  

York Creates Fund is a micro-fund that supports cultural and creative activity in the city. The York Creates Fund will provide opportunities for local creatives to produce new work through micro-grants, commissions and competitions. The fund will be held by Make It York and administered in reference to the objectives of York’s Creative Future, the city’s Culture Strategy. 

About the Snooks Trail 

There were 21 sculptures that made up the popular Snooks Trail, York’s first character trail across the city, running between 2 March and 25 April 2024. The Snooks were the brainchild of artist Sian Ellis, and each one of the unique four and a half foot characters, has been decorated by different talented artists to create its own identity and style. 


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