Pottery pigs raising funds for charity

The limited edition Wemyss Ware pigs are on sale.
The limited edition Wemyss Ware pigs are on sale.

Wemyss Pottery in Ceres is giving its backing to a charity which raises awareness of heart defects in young people.

Owner and designer Griselda Hill was touched when she heard from a mum whose teenage son died from Young Sudden Cardiac Arrest and agreed to has created a limited edition pig to raise funds for the charity.

Sue Dewhirst set up the CRY for Matthew Fund in memory of her son, Matthew, who died in July 2012, aged just 17, from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

She set herself the challenge of raising £20,000 this year, and approached Griselda with her idea after being given a Wemyss Ware pig.

Griselda, who has set up the pottery 32 years ago, explained more about how she got involved.

“Sue had been given another charity pig that we’d done and thought we might be prepared to adapt our pigs to their charity,” she said.

Although the charity only covers Shropshire and Cheshire, Griselda was still happy to get involved.

“When she came up to Ceres she told me that six per cent of the young people they’ve screened so far have shown a heart defect,” she said.

“Two of those were rushed to hospital and had heart surgery the next day.

“Matthew was her only son and it was so tragic. He was a talented lad – a rugby player and a musician – and they had no idea this was going to happen.”

Griselda came up with the idea of creating 100 limited edition pigs each painted with the flower heartsease.

She explained that the flower was traditionally used for medicinal purposes, mainly for diseases of the heart.

Griselda added: “Because of the tragedy of Matthew’s death, heartsease felt like the right choice.

“It’s like it symbolises ‘my heart is broken but it can ease’.”

Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death can be greatly increased by carrying out a simple ECG.

It is thought around 80 per cent of those who die from the condition each week do not have any noticeable symptoms, making the test crucial in finding any possible heart defects.

One in every 300 people tested will be found to have a life-threatening condition.

The heartsease pig is not the first special edition pottery Griselda has made for charity.

She has previously designed items for Compassion in World Farming and for Marie Curie.

And she is open to working alongside other organisations in the future.

For each limited-edition hand-painted pig sold, £10 goes to the charity.

The pigs are on sale on Wemyss Ware’s website www.wemyssware.co.uk.