Opticians doubles up as art gallery for charity

Nora at her easel painting a landscape.

An opticians is doubling up as an art gallery for charity.

Specsavers Richmond’s directors have teamed up with artist Nora Yates, a landscape watercolourist from the town, to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts.

As well as offering the usual optical and hearing care services, the store will feature Nora’s work, with a chance to buy her framed original watercolours and prints.

Nora is donating these to the store to raise awareness and funds for The Motor Neuron Disease Association (MNDA).

In May 2021, ophthalmic director at the Richmond store, Florence Campbell, was diagnosed with MND at the age of 34.

MND (also known as ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that has no cure, affecting the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

Florence’s husband, fellow store director Ross Campbell, launched a campaign to raise funds and awareness soon after her diagnosis.

He has raised over £28,000 so far, recently running a 50km ultramarathon in the Lake District.

A customer of the store since it opened in 2008, Nora’s artwork is inspired by the landscape and heritage of the town and surrounding area.

Nora has promoted the therapeutic benefits of art workshops for Parkinson’s Disease sufferers. Nora set up Art workshops at The Beacon on the Garrison Camp Centre, using art to help young army veterans.

Discussing why she’s getting involved in the MND fundraiser, Nora said: “Ross and the team have always been very kind to me and my family. After years of looking after me, my children and now my grandchildren I thought it would be nice to offer something back.

“I’ve had friends and family diagnosed with MND over the years and I know the pain involved. I’m proud to help contribute to this incredible charity.”

Ross added: “Nora has always been a favourite amongst our team. When she offered to get involved, we immediately knew we wanted to get her work on our walls.

“Florence and I have loved her artwork for years, so it is extra special for us to showcase her talent in our store as part of the fundraiser. It is an incredibly kind gesture.”

A total of 25 framed paintings and prints have been donated and are on display in the store and will be on display throughout July or until when they are sold.

You can also donate to the fundraiser at tinyurl.com/55wzr4p5