A new charity shop will open in Berkhamsted’s Lower Kings Road at 10.30am on Friday.
The Keech Hospice Care store will be double the size of a normal one – with traditional items like bric-a-brac on one side and a home interiors collection on the other.
Portraits of two seriously ill Hertfordshire children will take centre stage at new Keech shop.
Internationally renowned artist Sunil Pawar has painted the portraits of two children being cared for by Keech Hospice Care to feature in the children’s hospice new charity shop on Lower Kings Road.
The children’s hospice wanted to give the shop a modern feel and be different to most typical charity shops. Keech approached Sunil after seeing his work and asked him to paint the portraits of children Evie Ryan, two, from St. Albans and Kaylem Barnett, four, from Baldock.
Evie was 16 months old and had just started to walk, talk and was turning into a bubbly toddler when she suddenly became very floppy. A few days later Evie was diagnosed with GA1 and Dystonia. Since Evie’s diagnosis Kim and Evie have been supported by Keech in their home in St. Albans and at the hospice. Kim Baron said: “When Keech asked if I would be interested in having Evie’s portrait done I took a look at Sunil’s work. I loved it immediately and can’t wait to see the work hanging in the shop.”
Kaylem Barnett has many complex needs. He has Down’s Syndrome, chronic lung disease, holes in his heart, is tube fed and requires suction and oxygen. Frankie Barnett, Kaylem’s mum said: “To have Keech is a life-line. People underestimate the care that goes into children with special and complex needs. Having support is vital.”
Frankie was also delighted for Kaylem to have his portrait painted by Sunil. Frankie said: “I feel so lucky we have had this opportunity. And it is a great way for Keech to raise awareness of how it supports children in Hertfordshire with serious and life-limiting conditions.”
Sunil Pawar is an exhibiting artist as well as a freelance illustrator/creative; He has had work commissioned for a range of projects from local pirate radio stations to international fashion houses. Notable fans of his work include US rapper Kanye West, singer Kelis and legendary Japanese fashion designer Junya Watanabe.
Sunil Pawar said;
‘I am so glad to be painting the portraits of these two great children. The work Keech does is amazing, and to be involved in the project is a humbling experience indeed’
Money raised from this store as well as Keech’s 17 other shops across Hertfordshire will raise vital funds that goes directly to helping families like Evie’s and Kaylem’s and provide them with this support.