Gracie raises £1,800

A UNICORN statue which graced the centre of Downend over the summer has raised £1,800 for charity after being sold at auction.

Brightly-coloured Gracie, painted by Bristol artist Kim Reed, was created as part of the Unicornfest fundraising trail to raise money for charity Leukaemia Care.

The statue was sponsored by Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council and kept clean by a team of volunteers from Christ Church Downend’s youth group during her stay outside the former Lloyds Bank building on the corner of Badminton Road and Cleeve Road.

After the trail finished at the start of September the unicorns were gathered together for an exhibition in Bristol before being auctioned off in October.

Gracie sold for £1,800, the same amount raised by Bee Magical Brizzle, a unicorn which was sponsored and hosted by Staple Hill pub the Forge and Fern over the summer.

The highest bid was for a unicorn called Green King, which sold for £10,000.

The auction raised a total of £144,880 for Leukaemia Care, although the charity has not said how much the festival raised as a whole after trail map sales, sponsorship and online donations were taken into account.

Parish council chair Janet Biggin said the statue had been a big success for Downend.

She said: “It brought people into Downend, who also saw the shops and services we have – there were always people coming and taking photos.”

Artist Kim said: “It was so much fun painting Gracie and seeing her in her summer home in Downend. The local people there were so kind and kept her clean and safe. 

“It was lovely to see so many selfies, especially children giving her a cuddle!

“I watched the live auction with my family. It was very exciting – we were cheering all the unicorns on, and it’s fantastic how much was raised for the Leukaemia Care charity. 

“I’d love to know who won the bid – if they happen to read this, please get in touch via my Instagram @kreedartist. It would be lovely to find out where her forever home is.”