Hospice helps reveal a talent

John Reeves
John Reeves

AN 82-YEAR-OLD was devastated when he was told he had cancer but thanks to St Wilfrid’s Hospice he has unearthed a passion and talent for painting.

John Reeves, pictured, has completed more than 50 paintings since he was diagnosed with cancer five years ago.

Although he admits scepticism of hospices at first, his new hobby soon took off and on March 5, by a way of thanks, Mr Reeves will donate all profits from his first-ever exhibition at the Under Ground Theatre in Grove Road to St Wilfrid’s.

He said, “Being diagnosed with cancer was devastating and, like most people, I had a very narrow view of how a hospice worked.

“But I was pleasantly surprised to discover the reality was very different. I really enjoy my art sessions at St Wilfrid’s, the Day Therapy Clinic (DTC) provides a great opportunity to meet other people and try out something new, it makes a big difference to my week.

Arranging this exhibition is my way of giving something back, and showing that you really can teach an old dog new tricks.”

Mr Reeves was referred to the DTC which provides special medical and nursing care and a range complementary therapies.

Sue Wyndham, who organises Arts and Crafts at St Wilfrid’s, encouraged him to pursue a new pastime as a way of positive distraction in the early days of his illness.

He turned his hand to water colour painting and his natural ability soon became apparent.

His collection of paintings include local scenes and wildlife, as well as Christian themes.

Mr Reeves added, “I would encourage anyone who has been diagnosed with a serious illness to consider taking up some form of hobby, as this can only help to keep an active and upbeat outlook on life.”

St Wilfrid’s also offers a ‘hospice at home service’. For more information call 644500.