An artistic tribute to a St Annes boy who died of meningitis has been created in the centre of his home town.
The colourful outdoor work by St Annes artist David Healy is aimed at raising awareness of the charity set up in memory of Edward Dee, who died, aged 10, in 2016, and particularly his loves of trees and open-air activities.
The youngster’s passion for trees has already helped inspire an annual fund-raising effort led by his mum Elizabeth, who set up the Edward Dee Fund to back community projects after raising more than £100,000 in his name for Meningitis Now.
Andshe hopes David’s work in Back St Annes Road West, opposite the Urban Arts Centre will prove an attraction and talking point to residents and visitors alike.
Elizabeth said: “I’d had the idea of doing some artwork for quite some time, and after chatting to Jay Andrews at Urban Arts Studio, things kicked into action.
“He not only put me in touch with David, but also found somewhere for the art to be displayed, just adjacent to the Arts Studio.
“I met David and talked through the story of the charity, about Edward, about all the charity does in terms of raising awareness, and in terms of community projects.
“My brief to him was that the art should depict what the charity is all about, what it stands for, and all that it does in the community.
“I wanted to raise awareness in another different way, and by this artwork, hopefully people will stop, admire, and ask about the story behind it.
“I’m thrilled with the finished pieces. The tree links with the ongoing engaging community projects, including our intention to again give out handmade knitted, sewn and crocheted trees randomly at Christmas time.
“December is a poignant time being the month that Edward died, and the last thing he did with us as a family was decorate the Christmas tree.
“The tree depicted in the artwork shows the signs and symptoms of meningitis on the leaves, and within the tree markings, there are words which show the charity’s main purpose.
“The fire image also links with Edward’s love of backwoods and the outdoors, and his links to scouting, and the project which we are currently involved with at Fylde District Scout Headquarters, whereby the charity will be funding the refurbishment of the campfire and seating area. The Marmite jar was a nod to Edward who loved the stuff, while there is also a picture of Edward himself.
“I really hope the art will stop people in their tracks; that they will admire it, talk about it, ask about it, and learn about the diseases, the charity, the story behind it, and all the work we do.”
The art is in a section of Back St Annes Road West - running behind The Square – which has featured outdoor artworks previously.
David said: “I was delighted to be invited to do this work. I lost a college friend to meningitis years ago and it is a cause close to my heart.”