Helston dad holding art exhibition for terminally ill son
A HELSTON artist will hold an exhibition and auction to raise money for the charity which has provided a "safe haven" to his terminally ill son.
Artist Ian Griffiths has organised A Robin's Song, a wildlife-themed art exhibition and auction for the Little Harbour hospice, near St Austell.
Mr Griffiths' nine-year-old son, Thomas, was born with a condition that has caused the failure of his digestive system.
Thomas is unable to digest any food or drink and receives nutrients intravenously through a tube.
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Three Christmases ago the family were told his condition was terminal.
Since Children's Hospice South West opened Little Harbour in 2011, the Griffiths family has had ten short breaks at the specially adapted house.
Mr Griffiths said: "Little Harbour is a safe haven which provides a whole package of things as well as a respite for parents.
"You feel safe because of the expertise of the nurses, plus there are other parents to talk to and it's an opportunity for siblings to make good friends.
"Altogether it's a place to make memories."
The money from the auction will fund the development of a sensory-rich wildlife garden at the hospice. It is also hoped several outdoor cameras will be fitted so children who are too unwell to go outside can watch animals in the garden.
Mr Griffiths said: "I believe animals and birds can have certain therapeutic and relaxing qualities and I want to bring the wildlife closer to children. It's my way of giving something back."
The exhibition contains 120 pieces donated by artists from around the world.
"I have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity from artists and businesses," Mr Griffiths said.
A Robin's Song runs until October 14 at Wheal Martyn China Clay Country Park, near St Austell, then at Mr Griffith's gallery in Helston between October 18 and October 30.
The project will culminate in an auction at Merchant House Hotel in Truro on November 3, with no reserve prices.
Mr Griffiths has also organised a wildlife event this weekend at Wheal Martyn.