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Heartbreaking Tale Spurs Secret Artist Sale
08 Aug 2023

Tina Boyle, one of the organisers of the Secret Artist Sale in Shrewsbury has shared her moving personal reasons for choosing Alzheimer's Society as one of the beneficiary charities. Pictured: Tina's father Ron Chapman in his RAF days. 

Tina Boyle lost her hero father to dementia two decades ago. More recently, her father-in-law and mother-in-law were also impacted by the condition. Her father, Ron Chapman, was a Royal Air Force Pilot during World War II, who flew the legendary Lancaster and went on to work at the Army Air Corps. After the war he became a Flying Instructor.

Tina said: “My father Ron, was an inspiring man who could do anything he put his mind to. We noticed things change in his seventies as dementia took hold and eventually, we had to accept he needed to go into a care home. He still recognised his wife of 60 years but very cruelly for the rest of the family he didn’t recognise us. My mum only lived for two months after he died, we all believe she died of a broken heart."

Tina's father Ron Chapman in later life

Tina's beloved father Ron Chapman in later life

"A decade after I lost my father, my husband Roger and I invited my parents in-law to live in Shrewsbury. After 11 years, Roger’s father, Eric started to show signs of dementia. His wife, Betty tried valiantly to care for him with our help but this became too much and we made the difficult decision to move him to a care home, he died six months later. Cruelly, after a short illness last Christmas, Betty also declined in health, physically and mentally, was often confused and was unable to take care of day-to-day things and sadly died at the end of May this year."

"We wanted Alzheimer’s Society to benefit from The Secret Artist Sale because of the amazing work they do. We know from our own experience that dementia has a massive impact on families and loved ones and we all wanted to do what we could to support the charity.”

Tina continued: “I am really looking forward to the event and raising even more money for such deserving causes this year than last. It is also a great event to promote Shrewsbury, which is a town I love to call home and have done for the last 17 years.”

The Secret Artist Sale takes place on August 20, 2023, at The Soden Collection in Wyle Cop (viewing day on August 19) and features over 250 original pieces of work from local, national and international artists including a contribution from comedian Joe Lycett.

The event raised over £800.00 for Alzheimer’s Society last year and the organisers hope to raise even more this year, for the charity and the four other charities they are supporting (Breast Cancer Now, Lingen Davies, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Severn Hospice).

Tina with husband and in laws

Tina with her husband and in-laws (L to R) Betty, Roger, Tina and Eric

Alzheimer's Society, Community Fundraiser Rachel Ford welcomed Tina and the organisers of The Secret Artist Fair’s decision raise money for the charity. She said: “It’s wonderful that Tina and the whole Secret Artist Sale team are giving their time to support Alzheimer’s Society. A third of us will develop dementia in our lifetimes, making it the biggest health and social care challenge we face.”

“Alzheimer’s Society is a vital source of support and a powerful force for change for everyone affected by dementia. We want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you’re going through, you can turn to us for expert support through practical advice, emotional support, and guidance for the best next step.

“There are over 5,700 people living with dementia in Shropshire. But we simply can’t reach everyone without the continued support of our incredible fundraisers like Tina and The Secret Artist Sale team.”

Find out how you can support Alzheimer’s Society by visiting alzheimers.org.uk