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Book packed with portraits will raise funds for St Nic’s

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Book packed with portraits will raise funds for St Nic’s

A series of picture-perfect portraits painted by a volunteer have been turned into a book which is now on sale in aid of a good cause.

Christine Goddard, who volunteers for St Nicholas Hospice Care’s Psychological Services Team, has just published her book HOPE, a collection of 101 portraits which captures snapshots and reflections of local Covid-19 experiences.

Christine, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the start of the pandemic, began painting portraits of those healthcare professionals connected to her journey; she then expanded this to other key and frontline workers.

Christine said: “When I received my breast cancer diagnosis I decided that I needed to focus on something purposeful and meaningful, so I set myself the challenge of painting the portraits of the health professionals I encountered on my journey.

“I began with the Multi-Disciplinary Breast Care and Oncology Teams at West Suffolk Hospital, and it grew from there.

“I then widened the net to paint others loosely connected to myself who make a difference in our local community, staff from my local doctor’s surgery, pharmacy, fire service, and so many more have featured.

“All of the stories have been quite different; some of them have been uplifting, some of them have been sad, and some of them made me cry when I read them, but together they all tell a local story of our shared journey through Covid-19.”

Following a successful exhibition at Harrods of Hingham Community Gallery, Christine was persuaded to turn her portraits into a book. She asked all of those that she had painted if they would like to write a little piece about their experiences of working through Covid-19, and these stories now accompany the portraits.

Christine said: “When I started painting the portraits, I had no idea that I would end up painting 101 lovely people, or that I would have an exhibition or put it all together in a book.

“Painting the portraits was my therapy at a difficult time. When I handed the portraits over and thanked my subjects, people seemed genuinely pleased, and it proved to be quite a morale boost; it felt uplifting and good for everyone.  I have met some really lovely people along the way and heard their stories,” added Christine.

With the book nearing completion, Christine decided she wanted the Hospice to benefit, so will donate all profits to the charity which supports people across West Suffolk and Thetford facing dying, death and grief.

The book, which is available as a hardcover (£35) or paperback (£25), can be purchased through Amazon: