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Tyrone man's Corona Girl artwork to raise funds for health staff

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Noble Patterson with his wife Ann and Corona Girl, which is to be auctioned

Noble Patterson with his wife Ann and Corona Girl, which is to be auctioned

Noble Patterson with his wife Ann and Corona Girl, which is to be auctioned

A CO Tyrone man who had to close his two family businesses due to coronavirus has created a timely piece of art he hopes will raise funds for vital equipment for frontline health workers.

Noble Patterson from Ballygawley had to pull the shutters down on his garage and shop Zebra Salvage and Collectables.

Bored at home, he decided to get creative with old newspapers from his garage.

Cutting striking headlines relating to the pandemic from newspapers, Mr Patterson used his paper mache skills on a half mannequin belonging to his wife Ann to create Corona Girl.

Corona Girl is now up for sale to the highest bidder and the money will be used to buy much needed Personal Protection Equipment for local hospitals and care homes.

Mr Patterson told the Belfast Telegraph he and his wife, who is staying busy by making hospital scrubs from home, wanted to do what they can during these difficult weeks and months.

He said: "Our four daughters are all nurses so we know how important it is that people working on the front line have proper protection and this was a quirky way to raise money.

"These are scary times - two of my daughters are working in hospitals here, one is in Australia and one has been off but will likely go back to work in her husband's care home.

"I had to close my garage and my shop selling collectables and I was a bit bored at home because I am used to being busy, so my wife suggested I could pass the time by doing a bit of paper mache and make something.

"Within a minute I had came up with the idea of Corona Girl using cuttings from the Sun newspaper who seem to have very dramatic headlines.

"Three days later, Corona Girl was finished and last Sunday we posted her on Facebook asking people to make bids through private message through the Zebra collectables Facebook page or telephone and whoever has bid the most by Sunday, April 5, will get her.

"We will use the money to get PPE to local places - some of whom have little or nothing and while this might not be as much as they need, it will be better than nothing.

"We will courier Corona Girl to whoever ends up getting her and because it has been varnished she can be wiped down and disinfected."

Mr Patterson said if Corona Girl garners plenty of interest he will consider making a Corona Boy that he will also auction off.

He said: "It is just my wife and myself here now and she is keeping herself busy making hospital scrubs on her sewing machine so we are like the rest of the country - we are trying to do whatever we can to help those that need it."

Belfast Telegraph