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Artists and celebrities unite to create artwork in aid of veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress

Leading artists and actors including Sir Anish Kapoor, Joanna Lumley, Maureen Lipman, Maggi Hambling, Paul Cummins, Derek Eland and Jules George have created artwork to be auctioned off in support of veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress.

More than 140 artists and celebrities from around the UK have submitted postcard-sized artwork to the charity’s first ever Secret Postcard Auction, which will go live on Combat Stress’ website on World Mental Health Day (10 October). Veterans who have benefited from the charity’s art therapy have also created artwork for the auction.

All artwork will be listed anonymously – only when the auction closes will the winning bidder find out who their postcard was created by. Could you be the lucky one who picks up an original Anish Kapoor?

The money raised from the auction will help fund Combat Stress to deliver its specialist lifesaving mental health treatment to former servicemen and women across the UK living with post-traumatic stress disorder. The charity provides a range of free services including psychiatric and psychological treatment, art therapy, occupational therapy and family support.

For your chance to secure a unique piece of art, simply place a bid in the online auction. It will open at 10am on 10 October and close at 11.59pm on 23 October.

Joanna Lumley OBE, said:

“Art is a solace and an escape: art frees the mind from trouble and anxiety, art soothes the mind, occupies the hands, satisfies the soul.

“By supporting this gorgeous project you will be helping those to whom we owe so much in their time of need, and getting a divine small picture postcard into the bargain. Do join us: Combat Stress and I will be so grateful, you fabulous person.”

Derek Eland, said:

“As an official British war artist on the front line in Afghanistan in 2011 I witnessed first-hand the impact of conflict on soldier’s minds. One soldier I met summed it up perfectly when he said, “There are two wars being fought here, one which is publicised and one which goes on in a soldier’s head when everything goes quiet.

“That’s why the work of Combat Stress is so critical and the importance of this auction in helping fund their vital work. Please support it.”

Robert Marsh, Director of Fundraising at Combat Stress, said:

“We’re very excited about the launch of our Secret Postcard Auction, and the incredible artists we have on board, who’s willingness to dedicate their time and talents to support veterans’ mental health is truly heart-warming.

“Our highly specialised treatment includes art therapy to help veterans express their emotions and find a way to begin exploring their mental health issues, so it’s rather fitting that art is now being used to raise funds to support Combat Stress and the veterans we treat. It’s heart-warming to see veterans’ artwork included in the same auction as some of the UK’s biggest artists.

“It would be fantastic to see as many people as possible sign up and bid at the auction. It’s a great chance to bag some beautiful artwork, while showing your support for those veterans in need.”

Information on all the 143 artists currently taking part in the Secret Postcard Auction can be found here: https://combatstress.org.uk/meet-the-artists

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