HRH The Prince of Wales supports Art of Caring Exhibition

To mark Marie Curie Cancer Care’s 60th Anniversary, the charity is delighted that it’s Royal Patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has donated a lithograph of one of his watercolours, ‘The Thyme Walk, Highgrove House’.

The lithograph is one of 20 artist’s proofs, and is signed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The ‘Thyme Walk, Highgrove House’ will be on display at the Art of Caring Art Exhibition on Friday April 4th at 7.30 pm which runs until Sunday April 6th 2008 at St Colmcille’s Parish Hall, Ballyhackamore, Belfast.

ART OF CARING has become an established and welcome date for local artists and art lovers alike.

This year 140 artists will exhibit 400 paintings ranging in price from £50 to £4000 with variety and value to suit all tastes and budgets. Leading artists include Neil Shawcross, Brian Ballard, Denise Ferran, Leslie Stannage and Chris Dearden, to name but a few, plus lots of new and

established talent. Art of Caring is a professional, well organised event supported by artists from all over Northern Ireland. The bi-annual event has raised £75,000 with the sale of over £200,000 worth of paintings made possible by the continued generosity of our sponsors.

Artie O’Neill, OBE, Chair of the ART OF CARING Committee said,

“We are delighted that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is supporting our event by donating a piece of work from his personal collection.

BBC’S Noel Thompson will formally open the exhibition at 7:30pm on Friday April 4th. He will be joined by Marie Curie’s Nurse of the Year Imelda McGucken and local celebrity Nuala McKeever. A welcome repeat feature this year on Saturday April 5th will be wood-turning demonstrations by Dr Sean Gibson and feature water colour specialist Chris Dearden, demonstrating the finer skills of a water colour artist”.

Lesley Wright, Community Fundraiser, Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast said,

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Art of Caring Committee who are all working professionals with very busy lives for giving of their time to organise this hugely successful event once again. I would also like to appeal to the general public to come and support the event over the weekend, where a warm welcome waits!”

The Exhibition opening times are Friday, 7:30 pm to 11.00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday 10:30 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is £3.00 and will include a catalogue and refreshments.

For more information or to sponsor Art of Caring, contact:

Chairman: Artie O’Neill 028 9031 6440 Community Fundraiser: Lesley Wright 028 9088 2046

Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK’s largest charities, providing free, quality end-of-life care for terminally ill patients and their families. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, it expects to provide care to around 27,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its 10 hospices this year and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.

In Northern Ireland Marie Curie Cancer Care:

· Employs more that 200 Marie Curie Nurses who work in the community to provide end of life care, totally free for patients in their own home.

§ Runs the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast with 18 inpatient beds, outpatient clinics, day therapy, family support and child bereavement services. On average, around 2,335 people visit the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast each month. And runs similar satellite Day Therapy services in Lisburn and Downpatrick and Ards Community Centre.

§ Provides services which cost over £4.5million. While NHS funding covers some of this, most is provided from generous support of thousands of individuals, membership organisations and businesses.

§ Supports the choice to die at home. UK research shows around 70 per cent of people would like to die at home if they had a terminal illness, with a sizeable minority opting for hospice care. However, more that 50 percent of cancer deaths still occur in hospital, the place people say they would least like to be. Since 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care has been campaigning for more patients to be able to make the choice to be cared for and die at home.

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