As our summer ‘Sitting With Jane’ comes to an end, the grand finale for Ark Cancer Charity draws closer.

Here at TFG, we have experienced an epic summer managing social media accounts for Basingstoke’s most popular event of 2017.

The aim of the ‘Sitting With Jane’ art trail was not only to draw attention to the anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and that she lived in Basingstoke but to raise funds for Ark Cancer Charity.

The Ark Cancer Charity aims to raise £5m to build a 21st-century cancer treatment centre. Built for the people, by the people – and ‘Sitting With Jane’ is hoping to be a huge contribution towards that goal.

The Typeface Group Effect

The Team loved being a part of this project. We all have a soft spot for Basingstoke! When we were approached take part in this Jane Austen project, we just had to get involved.

“These last few months we supported Destination Basingstoke by managing the ‘Sitting With Jane’ Twitter and Facebook accounts. We always hoped that the public would engage and get involved with sharing their time on the trail, but never imagined it would have gone this well. It has been delightful throughout. We couldn’t have wished to spend our summer any other way!’’

Shannon Valentine – Digital Communications Executive 

Impressive Statistics From The Trail

It seems like the project has succeeded in its first quest. Over 16,000 visits to BookBenches recorded on the app. Visits to Basingstoke attractions like the Willis Museum have even doubled through the period when the trail has been open.

Felicity Edwards, of Destination Basingstoke and organiser, of Sitting With Jane, says,

“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm from people that have visited the trail – and those that haven’t visited but still enjoyed it from afar on social media. It has achieved what we wanted, which was to remind everyone that Basingstoke and north Hampshire played an influential part in the life of our most celebrated female novelist. The trail has been a way for everyone to enjoy learning about her, seeing some original beautiful art and getting to visit lots of places. It is fantastic to walk down the street and overhear people talking about it. It is certainly the most ambitious project Destination Basingstoke has undertaken, and it has had an enormous impact. We owe so much to the many partners and sponsors that made it possible and to the public and visitors for their enthusiastic response in embracing it.”

The Sitting With Jane Effect

66% of people felt the Sitting With Jane trail had improved their view of Basingstoke. A large proportion of those local to the area had visited places they had not seen before. ‘Learning about Jane Austen’ was the most popular thing about the trail with ‘seeing the art’ a close second.

Destination Basingstoke

A Word From Ark Cancer Charity

With success of the trail, we hope ‘Sitting With Jane’ will raise huge funds for Ark Cancer Charity.  Merv Rees, Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee, said:

“Sitting With Jane has attracted a great deal of attention locally, nationally and internationally. The charity auction is set to provide a grand final chapter to this wonderful event. “Hopefully, each of the BookBenches will raise several thousand pounds, which will make a significant difference to Ark’s campaign to fund the new cancer treatment centre. “If you want to support Ark, leave a lasting legacy, and own a piece of Jane Austen history, buying a BookBench is an excellent way to achieve both goals.”

Now For The Main Event

Organised by fine art auctioneers and valuers Andrew Smith & Son, the Ark Cancer Charity auction will take place at The Ark Conference Centre, in Basingstoke, on Friday, September 15. It will be the grand finale of the ‘Sitting With Jane’ event. The auction of the BookBenches will hopefully raise thousands of pounds for the charity. 75% per cent of the proceeds will go to Ark Cancer Centre Charity.  Which will leave a lasting legacy that will help support cancer patients and their families. The charity is raising £5 million towards a unique local NHS cancer treatment centre.

Do you fancy owning a BookBench?

Tickets to the auction cost £10. This will include a welcome drink and auction catalogue. To bid for one of the BookBenches, you must complete the online registration by visiting arkcancercharity.org.uk/fundraising/sitting-jane – details on how to buy tickets and other information is available.

As our summer ‘Sitting With Jane’ comes to an end, the grand finale for Ark Cancer Charity draws closer.

Find out more about Ark Cancer Charity.

Click here
Loved Sitting With Jane as much as us? Click to read how you can own a piece of art and history while raising funds for Ark Cancer Charity.

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