A new range of greetings cards are being sold in aid of Weston Hospicecare, using designs painted by a former patient.

Hobbyist painter Maureen Taviner was cared for at the hospice before she died earlier this year and now her daughter has made a donation of her work.

Anne Jacobs, Maureen’s daughter, has printed her mum’s work onto cards and they are now on sale at reception in Jackson-Barstow House in Uphill in aid of the hospice.

Anne said: “Painting meant a lot to mum, she had always been artistic and her father painted with oils as a hobby.

“He produced some quite nice paintings so it was in the blood, so to speak. When my dad was ill, he was diagnosed with asbestos cancer, mum painted more and it was something that she could do at home in her own time whilst she was looking after him.”

Much like her father, Maureen’s hobby for painting turned into a lifelong passion and she was always looking to develop her skills.

Anne said: “She went on some painting-related courses at Denman College and she was always willing to learn and improve. Overall it was very important to mum, I think it was an important phase for her.”

But Maureen never had the confidence to make a living wage from her painting expertise. She would instead gift her work to her family.

Anne continued: “She didn’t make a living from painting, far from it. She never thought they were ever good enough. She occasionally gave me, my brother, my sister and other members of the family prints to hang on the wall. But between us, we had no more than eight paintings.”

When Maureen died in February, it was only then that Anne saw a potential to sell her mother’s work for a charity that was so close to her mum.

She said: “After she died, I discovered how many more paintings that she had stored that were worthy of publication or other people seeing them at least.

“I have a friend from Burnham who is a professional artist and she had a look at mum’s work and she makes cards herself. Between us, we had the idea to turn mum’s work into cards as a thank you to everyone who had helped with mum’s service.

“I was then encouraged to take it further and we saw an opportunity to sell these cards and the obvious recipient of the profits was the hospice. It would be what mum would choose.”

Before becoming a patient, Maureen had fundraised for the hospice and her husband, Anne’s father, was also a day hospice patient more than 15 years ago before he died.

Anne said: “This is a wonderful place, we got to know the hospice when my dad died. He wasn’t actually an inpatient but he visited occasionally just to give mum some respite care.

“Mum and some of her friends in Blagdon, where she lived her married life, used to knit little characters for Easter and Christmas and put a little chocolate inside.

“It may have been a snowman or a little chick or something. They would sell these and donate the profits to the hospice.

“Mum came to live with me last July and said all along that she wanted to die with us.

“But actually when she was invited to come here by her community nurse a couple of weeks before she ended up passing, she took up the offer and I think it was exactly the right thing for her.”

Anne described her mum moving into the inpatient unit as the best option for all parties and it enabled her to act as family rather than her mum’s carer.

She said: “It enabled us to do the ‘being family’ and in the end, the hospice were wonderful to her and to us. She came in on the Wednesday and we had a phone call on the Sunday to say she was deteriorating quite fast and that she may have only had a day or two.

“I rounded up my brother and sister and we came on the Sunday and stayed Sunday night. She didn’t actually die until the Friday but my brother, my sister and I camped out and the staff were wonderful to us.”

The cards are currently on sale in reception on the Jackson-Barstow house and prices start from £1.80 per print or you can get three for £5.


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