26th May 2020 — Talented St Faith's School pupil Louisa has been putting her time in lockdown to good use by applying her impressive artistic talents to create pet portraits in return for contributions to the Blue Smile charity. Using pastels and charcoal, Louisa has so far completed 17 commissions and has a further 12 to complete.
Typically all Year 8 pupils at St Faith’s would be participating in the annual Charity Challenge at this time of the year. Due to the current environment most pupils have had to abandon plans of car washes, cake sales and other community activities. Louisa, however, saw an opportunity to combine her loves of art and animals to raise funds for a cause which will help others enjoy and benefit from art. So Louisa asked teachers and friends to send her photos of their pets for a minimum contribution of £10 per picture. With over 30 requests she has enjoyed a very busy and productive Easter holiday and is trying to fit in her remaining commissions in between online home based learning now that the summer term has started.
When asked about her motivation for this challenge Louisa commented: "The St Faiths charity challenge was postponed in lockdown, but I wanted to do it anyway. I love art and I have more time to do it in lockdown. I am happy that I can raise money for Blue Smile, because they do art therapy to help children. I have done portraits of horses, cats, a hedgehog and lots of dogs. I even did one with my granny in the picture. I hope doing this might persuade my parents to let me have a dog!"
Louisa’s method of fundraising links so well with her chosen charity as Blue Smile provides arts-based therapy to children with mental health and emotional problems across Cambridgeshire. In the past few days, thanks to funding from the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund, the charity has distributed art packs to all schools that therapists were working in. These packs, containing colouring pencils, paints and activity sheets, will help children who were receiving Blue Smile therapy express how they are feeling at this difficult time. Many of these children are also receiving ‘keeping in touch’ telephone calls from therapists, so they know they are not forgotten.
Jess Manley, Director of Blue Smile, said: “What Louisa is doing is really wonderful! She is very talented and it is so kind of her to think of other children during lockdown. The money she raises will help many children who feel frightened, worried and alone. We really cannot thank her enough.”