A former firefighter with Parkinson’s Disease has turned his hand to painting and donated one of his works to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
Ian Dunning spent 32 years working for Cleveland Fire Brigade before being diagnosed with the debilitating illness seven years ago.
Now his love of painting and drawing will help to raise essential funds for GNAAS after he handed them one of his popular paintings to pool funds for the charity.
The 58-year-old, from Norton, near Stockton, said: “I know firsthand the work of the aircraft and how many lives they save. Their speed is vital and service critical in emergencies. I wanted to donate it so they can raise as much money as possible from it.”
The painting depicts the charity’s helicopter hovering above a fire engine with Roseberry Topping in the background.
Mr Dunning’s wife, Jacki Dunning, gave him a watercolour set in his mid 40s and he has practiced ever since.
“I want to show other people with Parkinson’s that you don’t have to give up. It is all about mind over matter. I’ve had to learn to be resourceful. When I start shaking I step away from the painting and return later, but don’t give in to it.”
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising GNAAS said: “We have now placed the item on eBay and encourage people to bid for it. We hope to raise a good sum for our life-saving air ambulance. We want to thank Ian for his generosity and wonderful work. We need £4m every year to keep the service going and this will go towards our efforts in raising this.”