Artist’s tribute to ‘courageous’ cancer charity founder

The portrait of Janet Money, painted by James 'Justso' Ridington

The portrait of Janet Money, painted by James 'Justso' Ridington - Credit: Submitted

A Norfolk artist has donated a portrait of Janet Money to the centre she founded, Dereham Cancer Care, in her memory.

James ‘Justso’ Ridington, 77, said Mrs Money was “a very good friend and advisor to many people including myself.”

“As resident artist at Dereham Cancer Care, I have paid my tribute in this painted portrait of her,” he said.

“Janet will take pride of place for all people at the centre to remember her and all her marvellous hard work and dedication to people affected by cancer,” he added.

James 'Justso' Ridington, with his portrait of Janet Money

James 'Justso' Ridington, with his portrait of Janet Money - Credit: Submitted

Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003, Mr Ridington got to know Janet and the volunteers of Dereham Cancer Care by attending their meetings in the years that followed. 

After retiring from the live entertainment business, Mr Ridington began running art classes for members of the cancer care unit, as well as organising exhibitions of his paintings which raised hundreds of pounds for the organisation over the years.

Mr Ridington added that when he is able to again, he “fully intends” to bring his classes back to the centre.

Most Read

Asked how he would remember Mrs Money, Mr Ridington said: “She was courageous, honourable and thoughtful to others, even though she had a lot of problems herself.”

Heather Neave, president of Dereham Theatre Company (second right),, presents a cheque to Betty Cart

Dereham Cancer Care founder, Janet Money, to whom many tributes have been paid. - Credit: Archant

Mrs Money, of Scarning, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, and set up the charity with like-minded friends after her treatment. She had already suffered the loss of her son to cancer, and was later to lose her daughter to the disease.

She died on December 15, 2020, aged 73, and is survived by her husband, John. 

Mrs Money’s funeral was held on January 8 at St Nicholas Church and livestreamed on Facebook for the many who had wished to pay their respects in person, but had been prevented by the national lockdown rules.

On the day of the funeral, in recognition of her work helping people across the town and beyond, Dereham town council arranged for the union flag to be flown with a black cravat.

The centre will continue to offer support, guidance and social events for those with living with cancer, as well as their families.