84-year-old blind man sells paintings for charity

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 www.teesbyharry.com 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 www.rnib.org.uk