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Budding artist Alex Patterson raises £5k for Altnagelvin health heroes

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Alex Patterson from Eglinton’s painting marathon raised £5,025

Alex Patterson from Eglinton’s painting marathon raised £5,025

Alex Patterson from Eglinton’s painting marathon raised £5,025

A schoolgirl has used her artistic talents to raise thousands of pounds for front line workers on Altnagelvin Hospital's Covid-19 wards.

Alex Patterson spent over 12 hours at her easel producing two paintings, which she will donate to two local care homes.

The 13-year-old from Eglinton raised more than £5,000 through her sponsored paint in appreciation of the hospital staff risking their lives.

Her mum Joanne explained: "This was an idea Alex had so she set up a GoFundMe page and has raised this amazing amount of money.

"Alex is a student at Foyle College and has been painting for two years now and has her own art studio here in Eglinton.

"She really wanted to do something for the front line staff working in the Covid wards of Altnagelvin - money that would go directly to them to do with as they wished.

"We closed the GoFundMe page at the weekend so the final total came in at £5,025, raised over two weeks, which is an incredible amount of money for a 13-year-old to raise."

Joanne explained how Alex worked through the night to produce the paintings.

"She set aside 12 hours on May 1 to paint two landscapes that she intends to donate to the two care homes close to where we live here in the village.

"As it turned out, Alex wasn't happy with one of the paintings so she started it again and didn't actually get finished until close to 5am.

"So many people were following her progress so I stayed with her, making omelettes at 2am in the morning."

Although the paint has dried on her canvasses, Alex and her mum are holding back on delivering them to their new homes.

Joanne explained: "The two care homes locally are Covid-free so obviously we do not want to do anything that might alter that, no matter how low the risk. Once we come out of lockdown the two care homes will be presented with their painting.

"But as soon as the money from the GoFundMe page is released, which normally takes five days, we will make sure the staff get it directly.

"That was very important to Alex, these are the people who while the rest of us are shielding and social distancing - a luxury they haven't had - they are going out and putting themselves on the front line and this money is our way of acknowledging their efforts."

Belfast Telegraph