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Art auction raises £2.5k for stroke victims and tax help

A recent auction of artwork, some created by stroke victims, raised vital funds for ICARE, a stroke victim charity, and Bridge The Gap, an organisation dedicated to helping those in need with their tax affairs, reports ICAEW Chartered Accountants Croydon President Andrew MacKenzie-Smart.

Andrew McKenzie-Smart

April 2018

Last month I held my President’s Reception at Croydon Park Hotel and rather than having the traditional formal dinner, we opted for a more relaxed event.

A major part of the event was a charity art auction to raise money for ICARE and Bridge The Gap. We had 24 items of donated artwork provided by the Edwinstowe Art Group and by the ICARE Day Care Centre in Green St Green.

ICAEW President Nick Parker gave an update on the great work that the ICAEW does for the community in London and beyond. Passionate art enthusiast Dr Janina Ramirez, a Professor of Art History from Oxford University and well-known presenter of BBC documentaries, then explained the long-term benefits obtained from owning and viewing artworks. Moreover, she set out the therapeutic benefits of producing art for stroke patients such as those who attend ICARE.

ICARE was formed more than 30 years ago by my mother, an occupational therapist, who recognised that there was a long-term social and medical need for stroke victims that the NHS was unable to fulfil. Art has been a major part of the recovery process for many of those who have had strokes. Art therapy allows them to develop their fine motor skills as well as increasing their ability to concentrate; areas which often need to be rebuilt in the brain following a stroke.

Bridge The Gap is a fundraising charity operated by Tax Help for Older People and Tax Aid. The two tax charities have come together to raise funds to provide additional resources to enable them to provide assistance to the needy and vulnerable.

Currently both charities are facing an unprecedented challenge from a less responsive, and more labyrinthine tax administration system in the UK with a population, where many are finding times hard. The need for free tax advice for the elderly and homeless is greater than ever.

The auction raised £2,500 for the charities, substantially more than expected, and entirely down to the brilliant combination of Dr Ramirez, who provided an appraisal of the artistic merits of the pieces being auctioned, and the excellence of Andrew Camsell, the auctioneer on the night.

Find out more about the ICARE Day Centre and Bridge The Gap.

If you would like to get more involved in ICAEW Chartered Accountants Croydon please contact the president Andrew MacKenzie-Smart

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