‘Rubbish’ artist raises more than £12,000 in 25-hour drawathon for Worthing charities

A renowned Worthing artist known for his unique – or to use his own words ‘rubbish’ – pet portraits took on a drawathon to raise money for two Worthing charities.

Hercule Van Wolfwinkle (aka Phil Heckels) drew non-stop for 25 hours from 8pm on Friday, until he reached 100 portraits.

Hercule managed to raise a staggering £12,379 for Turning Tides, the homelessness charity, and StreetVet, which delivers free vet care to the pets of homeless people, with half being raised before the challenge even started through pet portrait submissions.

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More than 400 people submitted their pet photos for a chance to be one of the 100 portraits that Hercule drew and each entry was accompanied by a donation to either Turning Tides or StreetVet. The lucky 100 were chosen at random.

Some of Hercule's 100 drawings he completed during his drawathon for Turning Tides

Ruth Poyner, head of fundraising and communications at Turning Tides, said: “We continue to be blown away by Hercule’s fundraising efforts.

“Since he first started fundraising for Turning Tides he has raised an unbelievable £120,000 towards life-saving support for local people with no safe place to call home.

“His latest fundraising venture could not have come at a more crucial time, as we are desperately in need of vital funds to protect the future of our Community Hubs – which provide the fundamental first step of people’s journey out of homelessness. We are filled with gratitude for Phil and would like to thank him and his followers for donating and supporting our charity through this mammoth challenge.”

Hercule checked in via Facebook Live throughout his challenge, with followers commenting messages of support and sending in donations from across the globe – everywhere from Worthing to New York to Greece to New Zealand. The quirky doodler even received a video message of encouragement from fan Clare Balding.

Some of Hercule's 100 drawings he completed during his drawathon for Turning Tides

During his Facebook Lives he spoke to representatives from Turning Tides and StreetVet who provided an insight into the support they provide to people experiencing homelessness and their pets.

Ruth at Turning Tides took viewers on a virtual tour of the Worthing Hub, where those in the community with nowhere to call home are welcomed with shelter, food and the support needed to begin their pathway out of homelessness.

Jade Statt, StreetVet co-founder, also joined Hercule for a chat about the vital work the charity does in providing vet care to the dogs of homeless people – highlighting the profound bond between many homeless people and their canine companions.

Hercule began drawing during the first lockdown in 2020 as an attempt to get his reluctant six-year-old away from computer games.

Some of Hercule's 100 drawings he completed during his drawathon for Turning Tides

After posting his first portrait on Facebook, it turned into a virtual storm gaining coverage on the BBC, CNN, and even a personal letter of recognition from Boris Johnson who awarded him ‘The Daily Points of Light’ honour.

He has appeared on shows including The Russell Howard Hour and last year was nominated for a Pride of Britain award.

Hercule publishes his portraits on his social media channels – @portraitsbyhercule – and only requests in return a donation to charity.

To find out more or donate to Turning Tides visit this JustGiving page or to donate to StreetVet visit this JustGiving page.

Some of Hercule's 100 drawings he completed during his drawathon for Turning Tides

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