Glassware skills to help hospice market

Glassmaker Malcolm Patrick
Glassmaker Malcolm Patrick

A Luton lorry driver who took up glassmaking after being diagnosed with Mesothelioma – a rare form of cancer – is using his new-found skills to help the hospice.

Malcolm Patrick, 66, of Nappsbury Road will be selling his handmade glass bowls and necklaces at a stall in Keech Hospice Care’s Makers Market at Barnfield College this weekend (November 1 and 2).

And every penny he makes will be given to the charity that helped him when he needed it most.

Malcolm said: “I will be donating the money back to the hospice so that other people who are in the same situation will have a place to go when they need a break.

“It takes the stress out of the day, like going to the pub for a couple of beers with your mates – not that I drink,” he added, smiling.

Malcolm was diagnosed with Meseothelioma – most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos – in March.

As a young man, he’d been apprenticed to a builder. “I was a plumber and we worked with all kinds of materials,” he said. “One of them was asbestos. The dust got into my lungs and burrowed its way through. Over 50 years it transformed into a growth.”

He’s been through six gruelling chemo sessions – “A very rough ride” – and is now on painkillers.

Three months ago he was riding his bike round Bramingham and found himself turning into the road that leads to Keech Hospice Care.

“I ended up speaking to the senior sister and I’ve been coming every week since,” he said.

“It’s one of the best places I’ve ever been. In hospital you’re treated like a patient. At Keech they treat you as a person. It’s easier to open up because they understand how you feel.”
The grandfather-of-five started glassmaking after buying his wife Rosanna a kiln. “She didn’t really have the time to use it so I started playing with it,” he explained. “I’m self taught – I trained by watching videos on a website.

“I’m in the process of doing a large pane of glass in a collage but I mainly make multi-coloured necklaces, plates and bowls. I usually just give them to family and friends so this will be the first time I’ve ever sold anything on a market stall. We’ll have to see how it goes.”

Keech Makers Market is the perfect place to start your Christmas shopping – you can buy something unique and out-of-the-ordinary because it showcases the incredible work of local talent.

> For more info visit www.keech.org.uk/get_involved