Painting gets second chance to raise cash for the Rocky Appeal

Mick Lyons, founder and co-ordinator of The Rocky Appeal with the painting.''Picture: Sarah Standing (150754-5095)
Mick Lyons, founder and co-ordinator of The Rocky Appeal with the painting.''Picture: Sarah Standing (150754-5095)

Southern Health project supporting patients shortlisted for award

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HE BOUGHT the painting at a charity sale almost three decades ago because it reminded him of his grandchildren.

And now Dennis White’s family have donated it back to The Rocky Appeal to see if more money can be raised for the hospital charity.

Mr White bought the painting from a Hayling Island artist in 1988, for £700, as part of a fundraiser for the Rocky Appeal.

He died in 2000, aged 71, and the painting sat in the attic of the family home for more than a decade.

But now Pauline Smedley, 55, his then daughter-in-law, has decided to hand the painting back to the charity.

Pauline, of Parkside, Bedhampton, said: ‘Dennis bought the painting at the time and my daughters Danielle and Stacey were in The News.

‘My son Gary was very young, but the picture reminded him of the kids and that’s why he got it.

‘But after he passed away the painting was put into the attic.

‘He did say to give the painting to the children, but it’s not really to their taste.

‘So now we thought we would donate it back to the appeal and see if it can be sold again and raise more money.’

The money raised from the sale will go to the Rocky Appeal’s bid to keep a £2.4m Da Vinci robot at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

Appeal chairman Mick Lyons said: ‘It’s such a great painting and a cute little story.

‘I hope we can sell it again and make some money for the cause.

‘The robot is a fantastic bit of kit that will go a long way to help so many people.’

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, acquired the Da Vinci robot last May.

It can perform keyhole surgery and is controlled by specially-trained consultants who can see inside a patient more clearly via a console.

QA is the only hospital in the area to have the robot and the only one in the country using it for five disciplines.

This includes for colorectal, head and neck, urology and gynaecology patients.

So far around £200,000 has been raised and it’s hoped a sponsored walk this Sunday will help to draw in more funds.

It starts in Eastney at the toilet block and ends in the Still & West pub, in Old Portsmouth.

The walk starts at 10am and there is no registration fee but people are advised to get a sponsorship form.

Call Mr Lyons on (023) 9228 6487 or e-mail mick.lyons@porthosp.nhs.uk.