Hercule Van Wolfwinkle raises over £10,000 in epic ‘Portrait Marathon’

May 2023

One fundraiser. 26 miles. 27 portraits. 2 charities.


Portrait Marathon

On Sunday 14th May Hercule Van Wolfwinkle, aka Phil Heckels of Worthing, embarked on a Portrait Marathon to fundraise Turning Tides and StreetVet. The epic challenge marked the latest in his growing list of fundraising challenges he takes on for the two charities. Hercule began his walk to Brighton and back from Worthing Promenade at 7am and reached the finish line at 8:30pm, covering the distance of 26.2 miles. He stopped at each mile to complete one of his quirky pet portraits selected from photo entries submitted by some of his 240k online fans.

Throughout his journey, the 2022 JustGiving Fundraiser of the Year was joined by Turning Tides and StreetVet staff and volunteers, friends, family and supporters, who walked some of the way or were there to cheer him on. Hercule regularly shared Facebook Live videos to keep his social media followers up to date. Since he began fundraising for this challenge, Hercule has raised over £10,000! To donate, visit Hercule’s JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/portraitsbyhercule

Ruth Poyner, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Turning Tides, said:

“It’s an incredible feat to complete this challenge and raise such a fantastic amount. The Portrait Marathon was a big physical challenge, and it was wonderful to see such support throughout. The donations are vital as we see the cost-of-living crisis hugely increasing the need for our services.”

Portrait Marathon

Hercule began drawing his self-proclaimed ‘rubbish’ portraits of people’s pets for commission in 2020, with funds going to the two charities. He is now internationally known for his animal portraits with media from all over the world picking up on this incredible story. The journey started one afternoon when he was doodling a picture of his dog and then posted it on Facebook; little did he know that post would go viral, and his work would soon be in high demand with requests from all over the globe for portraits flooding into his inbox in their tens of thousands. To date, Hercule has raised over £200,000 for the two charities and, as homelessness escalates, he is determined to raise more much-needed money to support Turning Tides as the charity is faced with raising £650k in 2023 to support its crucial services throughout the year.

Find out more by visiting Hercule Van Wolfwinkle’s Facebook page @portraitsbyhercule