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Scultpure unveiled for charity garden in memory of GP and health campaigner

PUBLISHED: 12:05 22 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:05 22 July 2020

Barbara Kell and sculptor Brian Alabaster with 'Charlotte' in Richard's Garden at the Pear Tree Centre. PHOTO: The Pear Tree Fund

Barbara Kell and sculptor Brian Alabaster with 'Charlotte' in Richard's Garden at the Pear Tree Centre. PHOTO: The Pear Tree Fund

Archant

The legacy of a much-loved GP and health campaigner continues to be remembered after his death with the unveiling of a striking sculpture for a memorial garden in his memory.

Barbara Kell and sculptor Brian Alabaster with 'Charlotte' in Richard's Garden at the Pear Tree Centre. PHOTO: The Pear Tree FundBarbara Kell and sculptor Brian Alabaster with 'Charlotte' in Richard's Garden at the Pear Tree Centre. PHOTO: The Pear Tree Fund

The sculpture forms the centrepiece of Richard’s Garden, at the Pear Tree Centre next to Cutlers Hill Surgery in Halesworth.

The garden has been named after Dr Richard Kell, who died aged 64 in July 2019 after a battle with motor neurone disease.

Dr Kell served as chair of the Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund, the Pear Tree Fund’s predecessor, for 18 years before retiring in 2017.

Now, sculptor Brian Alabaster has donated the artwork, named Charlotte, to the centre in memory of his friend and former neighbour.

Dr Richard Kell. PHOTO: Dr Annette AbbottDr Richard Kell. PHOTO: Dr Annette Abbott

He said: “Richard was our friend, family doctor and neighbour for 25 years.

“We were devastated when he told us of his diagnosis and felt it was a cruel twist that someone who had dedicated his life to helping others should be dealt such a hand.

“It is difficult to express how much he meant to all our family. He was a truly extraordinary man.

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“We are grateful to be given the opportunity to donate one of my sculptures to the garden dedicated to Richard and spent time choosing an appropriate piece with his wife Barbara.

“The sculpture of Charlotte sitting with a book in hand was the first one my wife Frannie and I thought of for this setting.

“We think she radiates a calm reflective and contemplative quality.

“We hope visitors will enjoy seeing her sitting under the pear tree that gives the centre its name, and that she will add to the lovely garden in memory of Richard.”

Following an extensive fundraising drive, the Pear Tree Centre opened its doors earlier this year, offering a range of services to people with life-limiting illnesses and their families, including help understanding a diagnosis, counselling, financial and benefits advice and bereavement support.

Dr Kell’s wife Barbara Kell, Pear Tree Fund trustee and founding member of the charity, said: “My family and I are so grateful to Brian for donating this wonderful gift of the statue in memory of Richard.

“It enhances the environment so beautifully and creates a lovely ambient space.

“We are also grateful to Ed Flaxman and his team at Studio 31 for designing such a lovely garden for us.”

The centre is due to reopen in August after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close temporarily in March.


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