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​Derby artist painting her way to fundraising success

Press Release   •   Aug 31, 2017 12:41 BST

A Derby artist and tutor is painting a new piece of artwork every day this year to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association.

Mary Smith, 66, of Cedar Street, was inspired to take on the challenge after her mother, Joan Scarratt, had a stroke in 2011. The stroke left Joan paralysed and without the ability to speak, and as a result she needed full time care. For six years, Joan gradually deteriorated, before she sadly passed away in February this year.

Mary is now completing one painting each day, which will continue until the last day of December. Mary hopes to collate her artwork in monthly books of 30 paintings, which she plans to sell. She will also be showcasing her artwork so far at the Melbourne Festival of the Creative and Performing Arts on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September, when people can buy individual canvases of the paintings to raise funds for the charity.

Mary said: “Having watched my mother coping with the symptoms of her stroke and meeting other residents in the nursing home in similar circumstances, I want to do something that will help other people affected by stroke. I usually hold workshops and teach weekly art classes but after my mum passed away I’ve taken a year out to focus on this challenge in her memory.

“It is time consuming but I’m very committed to completing the challenge, and I’ve had lots of support from all my artist friends. I would like to think that by doing this challenge I will be helping to raise more awareness of the symptoms of this debilitating and life-changing condition that affects so many people.”

Lucy Burnip, Community and Events Fundraiser at the Stroke Association, said: “With more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year, it’s vital we have people like Mary to help raise vital funds for us. We’re incredibly grateful to her for fundraising for us in such a unique and creative way; the money raised will go a long way in helping to support others who are living with the effects of stroke, as well as their families and carers.”

Mary will be selling her canvases of her artwork so far at the Melbourne Festival of the Creative and Performing Arts on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September. The canvases will be priced at £15 for 20x20cm and £20 for 20x30cm.

To donate, visit Mary’s fundraising page at: or visit to see examples of Mary’s work.

  • A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year; that is around one stroke every five minutes. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke. 
  • Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and together we can conquer stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at