Who needs a reindeer when you can have a jolly Swindog?!

Christmas has come early in Devizes, as our beloved Swindog, ‘Patches – Julia’s Hound’, was donated back to the hospice by the lovely supporters who adopted him at auction.

Patches - Julia's Hound wearing a Santa hat

Patches was hand-painted by the seriously ill children and siblings cared for by Julia’s House, along with members of our care team – all under the expert guidance of Swindon artist Hannah Dosanjh.

The sculpture, which features handprints, messages and beautiful pictures, was one of 72 Swindogs and Swinpups that appeared on our Big Dog Art Trail in Swindon over the summer.

One of the families who helped to decorate Patches was Addy’s family, who have shared their story as part of our Christmas Appeal this year. 

Addy holds paintbrush as she paints Patches the Swindog

Patches raised £9,000 for Julia’s House at the Grand Auction, thanks to a winning online bid of £8,000 by Jo and Del Hall from Chippenham, and a further donation of £1,000 from a supporter.

Jo and Del, who own and manage Survival Equipment Services (SES) in Tetbury, loved all the Swindogs so much that they bought four sculptures on the night, donating an amazing £23,000 in total to Julia’s House. Along with Patches, they bought Puppy Love, Spike and Rainbow Warrior to keep and share with their family.

Jo and Del said they had always planned to donate Patches back to Julia’s House so he could bring joy to the children at the hospice for years to come.

Patches with the team at SES

“The Julia’s House children’s hospice building is a wonderful facility where the charity can provide their much-needed care in such an amazing space,” said Jo. “It’s great that Patches has been getting lots of attention and is now back in his rightful place!”

We’re so grateful to Jo and Del for their support, and the children have been so happy to see Patches and their artwork when they come to visit the hospice.

Julia's House team stand with Swindog Patches and supporters Jo and Del Hall outside hospice

Doesn’t he look amazing just outside our hospice building? Come and say hello if you’re nearby – he’s very well-trained and loves a friendly pat!