Artist thanked by Lady Dannatt for portrait of beloved charity founder

James 'Justso' Ridington, pictured with the card he received from Lady Dannatt.

James 'Justso' Ridington, pictured with the card he received from Lady Dannatt. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

The Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk has thanked a Dereham artist for his services to the community, after he painted a portrait of a beloved charity founder and organiser.

James ‘Justso’ Ridington, 77, received a card from Lady Dannatt after this newspaper reported on his painting of Janet Money, the founder of the Dereham Cancer Care centre, who died aged 73 on December 15 2020.

Mr Ridington had said that Mrs Money had been “a very good friend and advisor to many people including myself” and will donate the painting to the centre as a tribute to her.

James 'Justso' Ridington, pictured with the card he received from Lady Dannatt.

James 'Justso' Ridington, pictured with the card he received from Lady Dannatt. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

In the card, Lady Dannatt writes: “The innovation, collaboration, courage and selflessness shown by so many across the county during the Covid-19 pandemic has been truly inspirational and uplifting.

“As Her Majesty The Queen’s representative, I would like to thank you for the wonderful contribution you have made to the county during these extraordinary and challenging times.

“Norfolk owes you a profound debt of gratitude for your outstanding service to the community.”

The card sent by Lady Dannatt.

The card James 'Justso' Ridington received from Lady Dannatt. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Mr Ridington said it was lovely to be recognised for the painting, and that he had written back to Lady Dannatt thanking her in turn. 

Zoe Flint, who took over the running of Cancer Care following Mrs Money’s death, said: “We’re really chuffed as a charity that our volunteers and people who contribute to us are being recognised. That’s amazing, absolutely amazing.”

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“We can’t wait to welcome James back into the centre, as soon as we can open," she added. 

James 'Justso' Ridington, pictured with his framed portrait of Janet Money.

James 'Justso' Ridington, pictured with his framed portrait of Janet Money. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Ms Flint said that the painting would be hung by Mrs Money’s husband, John Money, on a memory wall in the centre with other items celebrating their founder’s legacy. 

“Before Janet passed away, I said that every time we have a trustees or volunteers meeting, we will always have a minute’s silence before the meeting, just to focus us and keep her in our minds, so her vision stays alive with us,” said Ms Flint. 

Mr Ridington has also given a print of the painting to Mr Money, who said he was “touched” by the artwork, and really appreciated it.