Artist’s paintings used on cards to help hospice

Marian St Clare Hospice

Marian St Clare Hospice - Credit: Archant

A range of cards on sale at the St Clare Hospice shops in Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow have been created from a patient’s artwork.

Marilyn Taylor has donated the cards featuring her botanical watercolours to raise funds for the hospice at Hastingwood to thank the staff for their help.

Mrs Taylor, 69, a former teacher, from Epping, says she wants other people to benefit from the specialist care and support she has received.

She said: “I thought I was going to St Clare to die, I was so weak. But the way St Clare cares for people is an eye-opener. St Clare literally gave me back my life, my sense of self and my independence.”

Marilyn was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in May 2014. When she first came to the hospice she said she felt “totally helpless”, but thanks to St Clare’s expert care she was able to regain enough strength to go home.

“I thought that was the end of my journey,” she said. “When I was first transferred to St Clare’s Inpatient Unit, I didn’t think I’d ever go home again. But right from the start, the staff and volunteers gave me so much encouragement in so many ways. It was challenging, but they were so supportive. They make you feel like a real person, and not just a patient.

She added: “They cared for everyone, my husband, my sons, my granddaughters. It was like a community, not a hospital ward. They cared for the whole family and we were able to celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary while I was there.

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The hospice put measures in place to support Marilyn’s return home, arranging for equipment to be installed to help make the transition easier. She was also supported by the charity’s Hospice at Home team.

“To be able to return home, sit watching the birds in the garden, it’s been magical,” she said. “I was even able to do some more painting, which I love. Last October, I took up an art class and began a series of botanical paintings. After the care I received, I want to give something back to St Clare, so I’ve given the cards featuring some of my paintings to raise money so other people can receive the phenomenal support the hospice provides absolutely free of charge to those who need it.”

Marilyn’s cards are four designs in packs of eight for a suggested minimum donation of £3 per pack, or £5 for two packs, from all eight of the St Clare Hospice shops as well as from the hospice reception.

St Clare Hospice is holding an open day on Saturday, October 10 from 10am to 3pm.