A popular artist famed for holding watercolour workshops around the globe has donated one of his prized paintings to help fund the specialist care of St Catherine’s Hospice.
Edwin Williams, who lives in Farington, works on-board cruise ships teaching holidaymakers tips and tricks to create the perfect masterpiece.
He also enjoys passing on his knowledge closer to home, and holds seasonal classes at The Mill café and community hub in St Catherine’s Park, Lostock Hall.
And he recently donated some of his work to the hospice, which was snapped up by one of his session’s regular attendees.
Edwin, a retired aerospace engineer, said: “I was sat in The Mill having a coffee one day and just thought it has such a lovely atmosphere, so I enquired about room hire and holding some sessions there. It’s turned out to be really popular and the people who attend the classes are really lovely and enthusiastic.
“I often auction off some of my work on the cruise ships to raise money for charity, so I decided to do something similar for a cause closer to home, and donated a painting depicting one of my favourite places; Ravenglass in Cumbria.”
Christine Montgomery, from Cleveleys, has attended most of Edwin’s ‘Watercolours for Beginners’ workshops at The Mill since shortly after it opened as a social enterprise to support the work of St Catherine’s.
She said: “Edwin used the painting as a practice exercise once, so I recognised it straight away and it just brings back memories of all the times I’ve attended his workshops at The Mill.
“It’s a fantastic social occasion, I just love attending. The painting will take pride of place in my lounge.”
Lynn Kelly, the hospice’s director of knowledge exchange who organises activities, therapies and support sessions in The Mill’s first floor function rooms, said: “It’s so wonderful how the local community has embraced The Mill as a place to meet, eat and take part in social activities.
“The community hub is here for everyone, and we host a variety of group meetings from parent and baby sessions, yoga and counselling, to dedicated educational programmes and drop-in sessions to support and advise people with life-shortening illnesses.
“Edwin’s watercolour workshops are a perfect fit in our range of offerings and events, and it’s fantastic that he’s chosen to donate one of his beautiful paintings, with proceeds from the sale helping to fund the specialist palliative and end-of-life care provided by St Catherine’s Hospice to people living with conditions such as cancer, Motor Neurone Disease and heart failure.
“Our thanks also go to Christine for her valued support, which helps in our ongoing efforts to be there for local families and communities when it matters most.”