Children’s hospices across Yorkshire are to benefit from an art exhibition beginning this weekend.
Birstall-born Paul Heeley is exhibiting his work in Batley from Saturday, January 7 after being inspired to help the region’s three facilities.
Proceeds from sales of his paintings at the exhibition will go to the region’s three children’s hospices - Martin House in Boston Spa, Forget Me Not in Huddersfield and Bluebell Wood in Sheffield.
Mr Heeley, who now lives in Dewsbury, said: “When I read in the Batley News that there was a year- long campaign to raise funds for our local children’s hospice’s, I thought I would try to sell some of my work to help the appeal.”
The 53-year-old first became interested in art about 10 years ago after seeing the work of Bradford artist Bob Barker.
“I started visiting many galleries with both professional and amateur artists exhibition and, it was after a visit to Art In The Barn in Oakwell Hall in 2012 that I decided to try my hand at painting,” Mr Heeley said.
After experimenting with watercolours, he decided he preferred to use oil paints.
“To get more of an idea on how to paint, I went to visit Bob Barker in his Bradford studio who was an inspiration and gave me lot of tips that have improved my painting skills,” he added.
“I would like to give a special thank you to Bob for all his support and advice over the last few years.”
Mr Heeley was inspired to stage the fundraising exhibition after visiting a similar event benefitting a hospice at a museum in Liverpool.
He said that he was pleased to be able to hold the event at Batley Art Gallery and that no commission on sales was being charged, so all proceeds can go to the appeal.
Visitors can also donate to the fundraising through the gallery - the three hospices offer care for children and young people with life-limiting illnesses, as well as support to their families.
Mr Heeley’s chosen hospices have been part of a year-long fundraiser by our sister title the Yorkshire Post in 2016.
Each year the hospices need to raise £13.3 million in total because only 10 per cent of their funding comes from the Government.
The hospices rely on donations, charity shop sales, and fundraiser events like the exhibition to continue providing free-of-charge care to young people with complex medical conditions. They provide families of the children with full-time nurses, access to respite care, counselling services, and often vital support at home.
The exhibition begins on Saturday, with a launch at the gallery with refreshments from 1pm until 3pm.
It runs until February 4.
Children’s Hospices Bluebell Wood, Forget Me Not, and Martin House care for young people with a range of complex medical needs across Yorkshire.
Martin House in Boston Spa supports families and children with life-limiting conditions in West, North and East Yorkshire.
Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice provides in and out-patient palliative care for 250 families across South Yorkshire.
Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield raises £3.8 million per year to care for over 200 local children with life-threatening medical conditions.