The Daniel Barnett Arts Foundation aims to raise money in order to inspire individuals to be creative by providing workshops, fundraising events and support to people who may need help due to an illness or challenge in their life.
Since 2015 we have been working in partnership with the Cancer Trust Hospitals across Yorkshire to deliver art workshops to young people and their families who have been affected by cancer. Our aim is for these workshops to give focus and purpose to each individual taking part and allow them to freely express themselves in a fun, safe environment.
Daniels Mum and Founder of Daniel Barnett Arts Foundation
I’m Diane, Daniel’s mum and this is the story of our charity, and our lives we shared together which made me recognise the importance of creative expression and how moments in time are so precious.
Daniel was my first born, a baby who taught me to become a mum; little did I know, at the time, he would teach me so much more. Like all mothers, children bring lots of challenges, in Daniel’s case, his illness brought pain, fear and uncertainties, reaching depths I never knew existed.
Life itself entered a whole new meaning, for both of us but the challenges made our relationship really special. His strength was amazing and it gave me the determination to succeed whatever life would throw at me.
Daniel is the reason why this charity exists, and the reason why my heart lives for it.
Daniel’s talent was evident from an early age. He loved to draw and paint and when he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 14 it didn’t change the person he was in any way. Despite undergoing extensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy he continued to set himself goals and produced beautiful pieces of art which I cherish today. He was very creative and also played the saxophone which he got so much enjoyment out of. Our story is about how he inspired me, as he helped me to recognise the importance of time together, being creative and passionate about what life has to offer, even if your time here is short.
Throughout Daniel’s life, he was very driven by his creative self. It allowed him to lose himself inside his being, it helped him enormously. As a mother seeing your child escape from the reality of an illness, even if it was just for a short time, was a real comfort and joy to me. Being with him and experiencing the importance of creative expression, gave me the courage to set up this charity, to give this opportunity to others so that hopefully they can experience the same feelings of escapism and fulfilment as we did.
Art is an expression, a record of our journey, a moment in time and space, a keepsake for life which no one can take away. We make the brush strokes, the marks upon the painting, it is part of our expression and who we are and that we exist. The charity is for all those people that need time and space to be together. A space to be creative which allows individuals to be free of the stresses and strains of their illness/worries and to be in the moment, just concentrating on the activity or the task in hand which enables us to have fun and get through the day.
These interactions are shared with family, friends and loved ones. It does not have any connection to being at all brilliant or talented at art, the only thing which is important is the process, the taking part, freely expression who we are and allowing ourselves to just be.
My aim for the charity is to deliver art workshops all across the country in many spaces where caring takes place. I know that these creative workshops are vital to the wellbeing of these children and their families and a great way of having a fun time together.
Thank you for taking to time to read this.
During all of my time spent for endless hours with forms, talking on the phone, setting up fund raising events to now becoming a registered charity, I was and still am driven to succeed.
Please help in any way that you can, and give in any way you can to support our charity. To make a donation, please click here.
Having worked in Accounting for over six years and recently completing her AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4) she is currently working towards MAAT status. Angela is well travelled, and settled back in the UK with her husband and daughter in 2010 after living overseas for a number of years.
A passion for art started from early in her life studying art at school, and she has always appreciated many forms of art.
After her mum sadly passed away in 2016 Angela struggled to find an outlet for her grief until she began to draw and paint again, then she experimented with other materials in her spare time to create her own personal artwork.
With the encouragement of a friend she also took up the gym and running in 2017. By running 10k’s and completing other physical challenges she is hoping to fund raise for the DBAF charity amongst other charities close to her heart.
It was at the gym Angela met Diane the charities Founder and heard about the charities valuable contribution in hospitals.
Angela already knew how therapeutic art had been for herself and the importance of it in her own journey amongst her other hobbies. When the opportunity of a Treasurer for DBAF came up she jumped at the chance in January 2018 to come on board. Angela hopes to bring the necessary skills, support and advise to fulfil the role of Treasurer.
Sue is a recently retired Primary School Teacher of 42 years. Her interests include walking, swimming, yoga, T’Chi and the theatre. She has also been an avid fund raiser for a long time. Sue taught Daniel and his younger brother Richie and has kept in touch with the Barnett family ever since. From a very early age it was obvious Daniel had a fantastic talent for art and she was honoured to be asked to be part of the DBAF.
Glenda has a life long passion for art, design and education. She believes that art practice of any kind is intrinsically good for wellbeing and can help to restore a sense of calm and purpose during challenging times. For Glenda, art is a meditative process which is not about the outcome but rather about the ‘doing’ and the sense of self that can be found there. Her experience stems from thirteen years as a senior lecturer in higher education in the UK and Australia in the fields of Interior Design and Interior Architecture, and a further thirteen years as a practising Architect and Interior Designer in Namibia, California and Australia. Glenda joined our arts awareness trust because her values resonate very strongly with ours. Glenda now practises art and illustration in Sheffield which is now her permanent home.
Danielle currently teaches Baby Massage and Baby Yoga and organises events and meet ups to support local mums. Her interests include reading, swimming, watching musicals and spending time with her two year old daughter.
Danielle is very excited to be involved with The Daniel Barnett Arts Foundation and is looking forward to helping plan events, secure funding and supporting with admin tasks.
Stella was born profoundly Deaf, but has never allowed this to hinder her pathway through life. She used her disability to build up a resilience that has helped her overcome many other challenges, including attending mainstream schools and going on to pursue more than one meaningful career. Stella has gained a wide variety of experiences in specialised PA roles, Mortgage Advising, Independent Financial Advising, Examination Officer roles, Spiritual Counselling/Advising and Life Mentoring, including being a Volunteer Bereavement Counsellor for a local charity.
It was after a serious car accident, that Stella personally discovered through accidental art therapy with a simple Christmas bauble, how art can help rehabilitate a person back into society, from debilitating & chronic conditions. This curveball led to the creation of her new pathway and subsequent storytelling garland business. Subsequently, it was through this, that she met the DBAF Founder, Diane Barnett and she is delighted to have been invited to join their vital mission, one that resonates so well with her own inner findings. Stella is so excited about contributing in ways she can to the wonderful work of the charity, seeing it grow and more importantly, watching those who need it’s art services…blossom beautifully!
A Selection of Daniel’s Artwork
Spring Cherry Blossom: