Community of Eye raises over £460 for hospice

The community of Eye has raised £469 for independent Suffolk charity, St Elizabeth Hospice, following a hat exhibition and parade in memory of much-loved Eye resident, Joan Maynard.

Taking place throughout April and May at The Bank Arts Centre, in Eye, the exhibition featured 28 hats handmade by Joan, who was a passionate supporter of the hospice as well as being former chairwoman of the friends of St Elizabeth Hospice, based in Eye.

During the exhibition all the hats were available to purchase, each unique in design and suitable for a range of functions, including weddings and everyday wear. The exhibition then culminated on 27th May with a hat parade, an evening which saw live cabaret music from Jane Hoggar and a number of models showcasing the stunning hats, designed by Joan, on a catwalk in The Bank Arts Centre.

Joy Evitt, a friend of Joan who helped organise the event, alongside Madelaine Nightingale, Susan Cranwell and Jan Lovell of Textile Art Group Suffolk – of whom Joan was a member of, said: “Joan was always being creativity and when she passed away we learnt of the series of hats she had been making and we decided her work just had to be seen and enjoyed by the local community.

“She was well loved in Eye and she was a hospice supporter for many years, often creating Christmas cards or hosting quizzes in aid of the charity, as like many people she knew friends who had been under its care.

“Therefore we were keen to showcase the hats in a way which benefited a cause Joan was passionate about. A big thank you goes to the team at The Bank Arts Centre for their help in displaying the hats and hosting the exhibition and parade, especially to Abbie Schug who has been a big help and so kind.”

The funds raised from the hat exhibition and parade have been donated to St Elizabeth Hospice, which provides free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or life limiting illness throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Hannah Bloom, Director of Income Generation, said: “Thank you so much to the community of Eye for raising such a brilliant amount for the hospice in Joan’s memory. It was lovely to see the stunning range of hats, created by Joan, being enjoyed by the public before being purchased and going to their new homes.

“All involved have done a brilliant job in hosting the exhibition and parade, and we looked forward to working alongside The Bank Arts Centre in the future to support the local community.”

Located in the former HSBC bank in Eye, The Bank Arts Centre, is a volunteer led non-profit organisation which provides resources to enable the community to practice and develop participatory skills in arts and technology for wellbeing.

Peter Brooke, volunteer director at The Bank Arts Centre, added: “I’d like to thank the team and Joy for making this all possible, it was absolutely marvellous. Much fun was had by all and it was great to bring the community together, alongside Joan’s family and friends, to enjoy and celebrate her brilliant work.

“The hat exhibition and parade also highlights our growing collaboration with St Elizabeth Hospice, as we are aware in our community there are many people who could benefit from the services and support of the hospice. We look forward to evolving this partnership in the coming months and are keen The Bank Arts Centre can serve as a community hub to facilitate such growth.”

For more information about The Bank Arts Centre, Eye, visit

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