A PAINTING with an eye-catching design and a heartwarming message has already raised hundreds at auction for the NHS in north Cumbria - with two weeks still to go to make more.

Artist Bianca Spencer recently created a series of paintings to celebrate the work of the NHS, both in normal times and during the extra strain it has faced during the coronavirus pandemic.

From Whitehaven, Bianca, who works at Sellafield, describes her painting as a "hobby" - though her paintings are now proving to be worth quite a bit of money.

Bianca decided to auction the fourth painting in her series celebrating the work of the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust, which runs The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and a number of community hospitals throughout the north of the county.

Bianca, who is auctioning the painting to raise money for the NHS, said before the auction began last Friday that she had "no idea how much money" she would raise.

But she should certainly be happy with how the auction is going so far: the painting has currently raised £525, with two weeks left before bidding closes.

The auction is being conducted online through the website Jumblebee. Apart from the auction fee, all the money raised will be going straight to the NHS.

Bianca said the painting being auctioned was inspired by the recently ended weekly clap for carers event, which had been taking place on Thursday evenings at 8pm for the nation to show appreciation for the NHS, care home staff and other key workers who were ensuring the country made it through the coronavirus pandemic.

“I know everyone will agree that the NHS are absolutely incredible and definitely do not get enough credit for what they do day to day," she said.

"Never mind with the pressure they are under right now. They’re honestly amazing.”