TV star Brenda plans to make charity art auction ‘the real deal’

An Oxfordshire TV personality is giving her backing to a bid to raise money in support of a new mental health facility for young people.

TV star Brenda plans to make charity art auction ‘the real deal’

Brenda Haller – well known as one of the dealers on the hit ITV show Dickinson’s Real Deal – will be picking up the gavel as the auctioneer at a special event to be held on 28th September, 2023 at 7:00pm at the POWIC Building, Warneford Hospital, Oxford.

You can book your place at the Oxford Health Charity auction by visiting this page.

All the money raised by this Oxford Health Charity event will go towards Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Meadow Unit – a new psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) that will treat up to eight young people at one time.

Around 30 local artists have generously donated a range of beautiful works of art which will all be going under the hammer during the evening. They include stunning photographic prints and original watercolours, striking textile art and wood carvings. The artworks will have guide prices of between £30 to £300+.

Brenda has appeared in more than 450 episodes of Dickinson’s Real Deal bidding for antiques, but she has the chance to turn the tables on 28th September.

She said: “I was the very first dealer on the very first show and all the deals are made with our own money. That’s why you might sometimes see us get grumpy with David when he steps in and tells us to give a bit more – we rarely made any money!

“But at the auction it will be me encouraging the bidders so I will be in the role of asking people for a bit more. The main thing is that the money will be going to a really worthwhile cause.”

The eight-bed psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) at the Warneford Hospital has been built thanks to financial support from NHS England/Improvement and will enable young people experiencing the most acutely disturbed phase of a serious mental disorder to receive specialist help closer to home.

All proceeds from the evening will go towards enhancing the new facilities including:

  • a bespoke sensory room.
  • a garden gym room.
  • a calming outdoor area.
  • indoor and outdoor artworks.

Brenda, who lives in Chipping Norton and has been involved in the arts world for around 40 years and, until quite recently, owned and ran a well-known antiques shop in Deddington, has a special and personal reason to get involved in the fund raising.

Giving something back

She explained: “I had a serious car crash a couple of years ago. My husband had broken neck and I had badly injured shoulders and we were both in hospital for a long period of time.

“The care that we got from the NHS was excellent and I really want to give something back. This auction also appealed to me, with its focus on mental health, as I ended up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I have been having therapy.

“Some of the therapy has involved art and I have always done a bit of my own art – what I call my mindfulness art – so being the auctioneer for a charity auction of excellent local artists is really exciting.

“I will also be working on an artwork– something a ‘mind over matter’ piece. It’s not formal art – just whatever comes into my head at the time.

“I want to encourage anyone who has an interest in art – whether it’s collecting or just appreciating great work – to sign up and come along on 28th September. There will be something there that will appeal to you and it promises to be a really fun evening.”

To find out more and book your place at the auction visit this page.

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Published: 4 September 2023