BLOG: Weekend of family fun online for much-loved charity

What have Lawrence of Arabia and a mammoth got in common with the Queen in a hot-air balloon? Find out this weekend, when internationally renowned Plymouth-based artist Brian Pollard provides a rare, behind the scenes tour of his studio, revealing secrets of his highly prized work as part of a weekend of online entertainment for the whole family, raising much-needed funds for St Luke’s.

Each year, we help hundreds of local families by providing specialist end of life care and support for terminally ill people across the city and surrounding areas, and as a charity it relies on support from the community to continue the expert service it provides, including throughout the current pandemic.

Brian, who is Patron of St Luke’s, is just one of the talented supporters of the charity making a difference by joining forces this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (2 – 3 May), as part of our ‘Facebook Community Takeover’. Also featuring a range of virtual activities including fun fitness sessions from Cheezifit, uplifting performances by local bands the Super XLs and Jolly Roger plus singer Poppy Mills, a music quiz from the founder of La La Choirs, a cookery demonstration by Greedy Goose chef Ben, and an around-your-own-home scavenger hunt, it is guaranteed to help spread some cheer during lockdown.

Those tuning in to the One Plymouth Facebook page at 2pm on Saturday will be treated to a virtual tour of Brian’s bright and airy studio, where he creates both his instantly recognisable, colourful paintings of local landmarks, such as Plymouth Hoe and the Eden Centre, as well as those inspired by his travels overseas, such as the stunning sunflower fields of San Gimignano, in Tuscany.

As well as sharing tips to encourage budding artists to pick up their paintbrushes, Brian will also unveil the special painting he has created to commemorate Mayflower 400, which is set to be auctioned later this year in aid of St Luke’s.

Brian said: “St Luke’s is a cause very close to my heart and we must never take its vital work for granted because such compassionate care is so needed when you are dying or caring for someone who is.

“I’m delighted I can play my part in demonstrating support for the charity this weekend, and if I can also inspire others to have a go at painting, hopefully that will help them discover the joy of creating art no matter how much experience they have or don’t have. Painting can be really relaxing and therapeutic so it is perfect for these days when many of us are spending more time at home.”

Penny Hannah, Head of Fundraising, said: “We already knew our supporters were creative as well as kind hearted, but the incredible ideas they are coming up with during lockdown have blown us away. While St Luke’s is co-ordinating the Facebook Community Takeover, all the credit goes to them for so generously giving their time, skills and talents to help us raise the funds we desperately need so that we can continue to come alongside the many local families who need us.

“I want to encourage everyone to see what we have going on this weekend and take part – it will be loads of fun for all ages and benefit a great local cause, too.”

Running order

Important: follow links below, not all events will be hosted on the main St Luke’s Facebook page.

Saturday 2 May
11am – St Luke’s Scavenger Hunt Part 1 – Follow our clues to see if your team can beat the rest – click here. (On St Luke’s Facebook page)
2pm – Brian Pollard, Plymouth-based famous artist will be touring his art studio. Get painting tips and an exclusive look at his finished Mayflower 400 piece – click here. (Hosted on One Plymouth Facebook page)
4pm – Plymouth born singer Poppy Mills will be performing live – click here. (On Poppy’s Facebook page)
6pm – La La Choirs extraordinaire Sam will be going live with a music themed quiz – click here. (On La La Choirs Facebook page)
Sunday 3 May
11am – St Luke’s Scavenger Hunt Part 2click here. (On St Luke’s Facebook page)
2pm – The Greedy Goose Cooking Live. Cooking a smoked haddock scotch egg as part of our new watch & dine concept – click here. (On Greedy Goose Facebook page)
6pm – The Jolly Roger, fun, upbeat, pirate-folk band will be performing live – click here. (On Jolly Roger Facebook page)
8pm – Big time band and supporters, the SuperXLs will deliver a special performance of David Bowie ‘Heroes for Heroes’ – click here. (On SuperXLs Facebook page)
Please show your support for your local hospice by donating using the Facebook donate button. Thank you.