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Designer pencil auction to raise funds for Children in Crisis

Designer pencil auction to raise funds for Children in Crisis

The humble pencil is expected to raise thousands of pounds for Children in Crisis in an online auction.

The Secret Life of the Pencil is a two-week exhibition created by designer and photographer partnership Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney. Open to the public at fashion retailer Paul Smith’s flagship Mayfair shop from 20 May, the project will end with an online auction on 3 June by Paddle8, with a share of the proceeds going to Children in Crisis.

Designers and celebrities who have contributed designs for the project include Sir Paul Smith, Stephen Fry, Nick Park, Sir Anish Kapoor, David Bailey and Dame Zandra Rhodes.

A selection of contributors’ pencils will also be incorporated into art works for sale in the auction.

Why the pencil?

Children in Crisis - yellow pencil logo

The pencil is particularly appropriate to Children in Crisis because the charity provides education and support for children in some of the poorest countries in the world. Its logo is a yellow pencil.

Chief Executive Koy Thomson said:

“The pencil is such a simple tool, but with it comes the chance for each child to reveal their ambitions, their hopes and dreams. Children in Crisis would like to express heartfelt thanks to Secret Life of the Pencil creators Mike Tinney and Alex Hammond, for sharing our belief in the power of education – and for their generous support.”

The Secret Life of the Pencil open exhibition takes place from 20th May to 3rd June at Paul Smith, 9 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BL. A silent auction will run from 19th May both in the shop and online through the auction house Paddle8, with the opportunity to purchase the donated celebrity pencils alongside single-edition framed prints.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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