Belper man’s piggy bank charity venture

Swearpigs, the brainchild of Rich Johnson who is auctioning them off to raise money for charity.
Swearpigs, the brainchild of Rich Johnson who is auctioning them off to raise money for charity.

An auction of uniquely designed piggy banks is hoping to bring home the bacon in aid of charity.

Belper man Rich Johnson came up with the idea of designing the one-off pigs and selling them in order to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Support.

The charity is close to Rich’s heart after his partner Suzy was diagnosed with a brain tumour back in 2012.

He is now hoping to raise funds by auctioning off 20 ‘SwearPigs’ - each designed by artists up and down the country - on eBay.

The business has the name SwearPig due to the products being a combination of swear boxes and piggy banks.

“A couple of years ago I had a pig in the kitchen which we used to write obscure swear words on,” Rich, aged 50, told the Belper News.

“Obviously when Suzy was diagnosed, I had time on my hands and I suddenly thought of a way of raising money would be to develop the idea of a piggy bank crossed with a swear box.”

Rich then pressed ahead with a plea to artists through Facebook to come forward and help design the pigs before auctioning them off.

“I appreciate art and I posted the idea up on Facebook and I had over 60 responses from artists around the world get in touch.” said Rich.

“Because of the logistics, I had to stick to UK artists but I whittled them down to 10 and then sent two pigs to each artist for them to design and decorate.”

The 10 artists, based up and down the country from London to Northumberland, have now returned the pigs to Rich and he is currently in the process of auctioning the items online.

Over the course of 20 days each individual pig will be put up on the site with each individual auction lasting three days.

Some of the themes of the designs include zebras and a special Catwoman pig.

“It’s seemed to get a lot of attention,” added Rich.

“Yes, it is just a piggy bank but I hope people see they are a bit more special and that there’s a human interest story behind them.

“These are all good, quality products and I’ve tried to keep everything in Derbyshire.

“The only thing that isn’t from the county is the cork stoppers!”

To bid for a pig or to find out more, check out the SwearPig Facebook page, follow on Twitter or visit the website at