A Teesside mum is hoping her passion for art will – literally – pay off to help children with diabetes.
Beverley Smith will achieve a major first this month (January) when she launches her debut solo art exhibition at Kirkleatham Hall Museum in Redcar.
Her teenage daughter Bryony was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just three-years-old and has since been under the care of the children’s diabetes team at the hospital.
Now, in a bid to give something back to the team she describes as ‘fantastic support’, Beverley is giving them all the proceeds from any of the 50 Celtic-inspired exhibition pieces that she sells.
“Bryony’s 15 this year but I can still remember the day and date that she was diagnosed with diabetes – it becomes part of your life,” she said.
“The nurses have not only given Bryony support but the family as well by holding education sessions and bringing families together. I found I wasn’t on my own, particularly in the early years when she was first diagnosed and didn’t want her injections! They’re such a good team and do an awful lot for the kids, including taking them away on trips. Hopefully any money I raise will help them to continue those activities.”
The mum-of-two from Coulby Newham is a member of Guisborough Priory Arts Society, where she goes twice a week. Her exhibition of Celtic art, which includes paintings and pattern-work, will run at Kirkleatham Hall Museum from Saturday 19 January through until 1 April.
She added: “It’s always been a hobby of mine but then again I am from a family of artists. I just love to create and paint using gold leaf and vibrant colour and have built up a wide selection of pieces. I’m thrilled to be doing this.”
The trust currently provides specialist diabetes care to over 180 children and young people. Locally in the past year alone, children as young as 10-months-old and up to 17 have been newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Children’s diabetes nurse Kelly Rowe said: “Type 1 diabetes is a life-threatening life-long condition where children and young people are dependent on insulin injections – it’s no-one’s fault, it’s just bad luck. We’re so grateful to Bev for supporting us in this way and wish her all the very best on her first solo exhibition.”