Chest Heart and Stroke association in Northern Ireland recently celebrated their 70th Anniversary. Louise Lester, of local Ballymena business LL Crafts, joined in the festivities. They asked her to produce an art project to celebrate this great charity and their work.

Chest Heart and Stroke 70th Anniversary

Chest Heart and Stroke 70th Anniversary

The students all produced beautiful Paintings using a technique called Pen and Wash. Louise combined and connected together the pictures into an A2 format display frame!

A short history of the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association

Tuberculosis had been in Ireland since the 1600s. The disease reached its peak in England and Wales in 1850 and in Scotland by 1870. However, by 1901 it was still on the increase in Ireland. Northern Ireland had the highest death rate from TB of any region of the United Kingdom. TB is caused by a mycobacterium and spreads between people by coughing, breathing and breastfeeding. The disease was able to spread more easily in poorer areas, where whole families might be suffering from malnutrition, living in one room and sharing one bed.

Small Beginnings

It was in this Northern Ireland of 1946 that 16 people decided to set up a Northern Ireland branch of the National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis.  Their first act was to organise a public meeting to educate people about how TB. Within 3 months they had agreed that as well as disseminating information about the disease, the organisation should also become involved in the welfare of people already suffering from TB.

As the extent of TB diminished, the organisation evolved, first increasing its focus to all diseases of the chest and heart in 1959, then expanding its remit further 1976, 40 years ago, to include stroke. Who knows what the next 70 years will bring. Our vision is a Northern Ireland free from chest, heart and stroke illnesses. If in 70 years’ time there is no longer a need for this organisation, we will have succeeded. But until that day comes, our promise to the people of Northern Ireland is that we will continue to be on your side.

Read more at the Chest Heart and Stroke website.

Congratulations to all of the “Enjoy Painting” participants. And well done to Louise Lester from LL Crafts who took part in this lovely tribute to the work of the Chest Heart and Stroke association.