Sudbury: Gainsborough’s House launches funding drive in bid to raise £20,000 in three days

Free breakfast at Gainsborough House to encourage members of the public to sign up for new funding.

Free breakfast at Gainsborough House to encourage members of the public to sign up for new funding. Pictured is Gainsborough House employee Steve Foster.

Volunteers at the former home of Suffolk’s most celebrated artist, Thomas Gainsborough, have just started a three-day fundraising drive.

The Christmas Challenge at Gainsborough’s House museum in Sudbury aims to raise £20,000 for its ‘Illuminating Gainsborough’ initiative, which will provide education projects at the facility.

Gainsborough’s House has been set a target to release up to £10,000 of match funding via web platform ‘The Big Give’ by raising an equivalent amount in just three days.

Volunteers are offering visitors free continental breakfasts from 9am from today until Saturday in a bid to entice new audiences and show them first-hand what the museum has to offer.

Participants can try out table-top activities and look around the house, which has recently undergone a complete re-hang of all its works of art and has doubled the number of exhibits on display.

Gainsborough’s House already provides a range of activities including a weekly club for adults with learning difficulties, weekly art classes for the under 12s and regular workshops for children and schools. In addition, the museum houses one of the best-equipped print workshops in the UK offering a range of courses for beginners and established artists.

But the museum’s development officer Nick Winch said although Gainsborough is Sudbury’s most famous son, his art and influence is unknown to many local people. He added: “We recognise that a wider audience should appreciate and be inspired by the work of Thomas Gainsborough. (So) we aim to provide a series of activities for children and vulnerable adults who will be able to learn to appreciate art as well as develop knowledge and skills in arts and creativity.”

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Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough’s House, encouraged people to get on board with the fundraising challenge.

Anyone who cannot make the breakfast events can make their donation online at