ARTISTS have donated their paintings to raise money for a life-saving radiotherapy unit at Great Western Hospital.

More than 15 artworks will be auctioned next Thursday at the Mannington branch of John Lewis to raise vital funds for the Brighter Futures appeal.

Among the artists to have donated their works is Jane Howarth, a 46-year-old painter, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma 10 years ago when her infant son was just five-months-old.

Jane, who has recently moved back to Reading from North Swindon, said: “It was a stressful time. I needed a distraction, so I started painting. My mum paints and my family has always been creative."

“That was 10 years ago. I’ve carried on, getting to the point where I’m now able to give something back.”

She was treated for the cancer in Reading, where she was living at the time. On moving to Swindon, Jane said she was shocked to find there was no radiotherapy unit in the town: “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the fact they gave me such good treatment in Reading.”

She has several paintings to next week’s auction, persuading several over her friends to do the same.

Catherine Newman of Brighter Futures said she was delighted to be working with John Lewis on the exhibition and auction: “Art has an important role to play in the healing process. Studies have shown that art helps to reduce negative emotions in patients and increase positive ones.”

John Lewis project lead Daniel Thuysbaert added: “This is a really fantastic opportunity to showcase a charity and local artists. It’s amazing the support Brighter Futures has had from the art community.”

People can see many of the works due to be sold at the auction on display at John Lewis at Home’s new exhibition space.

Tickets for the auction are £3 and include a free drink and canapes. The Brighter Futures auction is at John Lewis at Home, Mannington Retail Park, on Thursday, October 25, 6pm-8pm.

For more, call Brighter Futures on 01793 605631 or visit