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84-year-old blind man sells paintings for charity

Words by Smiley Team

An 84-year-old blind man is raising money for charity through his paintings.

Harry Boddington, a former electrical engineer who lives in Solihull, is painting pictures that will be printed on T-shirts and sold – with all the proceeds going to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

The T-shirts can be bought from Harry’s website which launches today, on Harry and his late wife, Eileen’s wedding anniversary. 

Harry is a keen artist having started painting around 70 years ago. He draws whatever inspires him and is currently completing one piece of artwork a week. Harry also takes commissions and some of his previous work includes pictures of dogs, horses, and a desert scene. 

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Harry was married to Eileen for almost 60 years when she passed away four years ago. Since then, Harry – who recently moved into new independent living retirement complex – has found painting to be a good way of keeping his mind active.  

“I draw whatever comes to my mind, although I especially love painting faces," he says. "I have received support from RNIB and wanted to give something back and thought that my paintings would be a good way of doing this. I hope to raise as much as I can.”

Harry’s son, Chris, helped his dad get the website set up to sell the T-shirts. They're also available to order through Facebook (Tees by Harry) and Instagram @tees_by_harry. 

“Dad recently moved into a new apartment and loves where he lives," said Chris. "He’s very independent and since losing mum his painting has really given him a new lease of life. Dad loves to make people happy, and his catchphrase is ‘Keep on smiling’ so we hope his t-shirts will help people to do just that.”

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RNIB's head of community giving, Elma Droste, said: “Sight loss shouldn’t hold anyone back from doing things that they enjoy, and we are delighted that Harry has chosen to fundraise for us in such a creative way. The money raised from Harry’s t-shirts will help support over two million people in the UK living with sight loss.”

The charity is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality, and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are. Visit

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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