A WHITCHURCH woman has raised nearly £1,500 for a mental health charity after auctioning off works of art created during lockdown.

Graphic designer Clarrie-Anne Cooper rediscovered her love of painting to tackle anxiety and isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last month she auctioned off three watercolour paintings, raising £221 for mental health charity Mind, with her employers the Cartridge People rounding up the total amount of bids received to make a £1,000 donation.

Added to her own personal fundraiser for her birthday, Clarrie-Anne was able to raise a total of £1,451 for Mind.

In addition to her role at the Cartridge People, Clarrie-Anne operates 'thetinkan', where she produces many of her designs and prints.

After receiving lots of positive social media feedback for her designs, Clarrie-Anne approached the Cartridge People with the idea of auctioning her paintings to raise awareness of how art can have a positive effect on mental health.

"Not only was I able to develop my watercolour painting skills, but I also distracted and eased my mind as well, while creating something I was proud of," Clarrie-Anne said.

"I will look back on a lot of my paintings and wonder if the restrictions of lockdown helped my creative process in a different way to normal.

"It's so amazing to think that people were willing to bid on my work and support a cause which has perhaps never been needed more.

"On social media, messages from friends and family and also the bidders themselves; the feedback has made me incredibly proud."

Meanwhile, John Flanagan, Cartridge People managing director, added: "This has been an outstanding fundraising campaign and something everyone in the business is immensely proud of.

"Clarrie-Anne has been with us for over five years now and during that time it's become obvious how talented she is and so when she suggested auctioning her paintings for Mind, we were only too happy to help in any way we could.

"The feedback from our customers has been fantastic and we're so grateful that people submitted bids and got behind the campaign.

"As an employer, it's of course been a challenge this year making sure that all our staff have the support they need so they cannot be adversely impacted by the lockdowns and restrictions we've faced.

"For me, being able to raise such an amount for a worthy cause like Mind is excellent.

"But also what's been amazing is that other people in the business have now come forward to share creative projects they've done in lockdown and having 'positive mental health' as a message for these paintings.

"[This] has meant that staff have been prompted to talk about this more, share concerns and look out for one another.

"It truly has helped bring the business closer together and this is just one of the many reasons we're so delighted to have helped Clarrie-Anne with what she's achieved."