take good care is partnering with a local artist to create charity portraits during and after Lewes Artwave in support of Southover Counselling.
Leslie Norah Hills paints portraits for charity and is displaying some of her work at the take good care shop in the Lewes Needlemakers.
She’s painted famous stars like Vera Lyn, Ronnie Corbett and Simon Gregson, as well as plenty of Lewesians down the years.
Visitors can view the gallery and commission Leslie to paint a portrait, with 50% of the proceeds going to take good care’s chosen charity Southover Counselling.
“We thought it would be a great idea to have a gallery of Leslie’s portraits and to raise money for our charity too,” says take good care founder Barbara Rowe.
“We raise money for Southover Counselling throughout the year through a percentage of our clothes sales. Leslie has known me for about four years and wanted to help too. She first painted me when I was consul to the mayor and has painted me three times since then!”
‘She’s lent us Ronnie Corbett’
Leslie displays her portraits in various spaces across Lewes and Barbara says her artwork has helped brighten up the take good care shop even more this summer.
“I thought it would be nice for Leslie to have a different venue. Between us we worked out where it would be best to place the portraits, who we should use and in what order,” says Barbara.
“She’s lent us Ronnie Corbett, which is very significant. She painted him and he was supposed to come and collect the picture but then his wife sadly got ill and he didn’t have the chance to come. When he finally planned to come down he got ill and sadly died. The painting is on display here for a month or so.”
Visitors can commission Leslie a portrait of their choice for £100. Fifty percent of the fee will be donated to Southover Counselling, as Barbara explains.
Raising vital money for counselling
“A portrait commission pays for someone to get counselling or bereavement care that they desperately need. Counselling is £40 a session and if people can’t afford it then others can make a contribution, and shops like take good care cover the difference. Bereavement courses are important for so many people and cost just £25, but even that is expensive for many who are suffering from loss.
“Not everyone needs to take a pill. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to who has experience.
“I’ve experienced counselling myself, which is why I’ve chosen this amazing charity. When you know you’re at rock bottom and suicidal then finding help through counselling can make all the difference. I didn’t want to think about taking medication as I’m a carer for someone myself, so I couldn’t afford to go downhill.
“Counselling was a proactive way to help me but I know it’s expensive for many people, and that barrier isn’t fair. That’s why we want to raise money for Southover Counselling and take good care of our community.”
Commission a charity portrait
Commissioning portraits is easy. Don’t worry, you won’t be sitting on a stool for hours on end.
“Leslie paints her portraits from a picture, so all you need to do is send her the image you want painted,” says Barbara.
“Anyone can come in, view the gallery and request a commission. You can either ask us or contact Leslie directly. We’ve already donated £103 to the charity and want to give so much more. One customer came into the shop and donated in cash! She loved what we’re doing here, promoting sustainable shopping and giving to charity, so she gave us £20 out of the blue.
“I want to raise a whole lot more for Southover Counselling and the portraits are a great way for people to contribute.”
You can commission a portrait from the take good care shop in the Needlemakers, Lewes BN7 2NZ, or contact Leslie directly on: email@example.com