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Woodbridge charity Art For Cure founder Belinda Gray ‘mightily proud’ at MBE

A charity boss is ‘mightily proud’ to have been recognised in the New Year Honours list – saying it has given her a new sense of dedication to a cause she has given 10 years of her life to.

Belinda Gray, 58, who lives in Bredfield, near Woodbridge, is the founder of Art For Cure, which works with creators across the UK to make and sell art, the proceeds of which are donated to aid breast cancer research.

She is due to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire ( MBE) later this year for her services.

Belinda Gray with husband Alex. Picture: Belinda Gray
Belinda Gray with husband Alex. Picture: Belinda Gray

Belinda told SuffolkNews: “I’m mightily proud to have been nominated for an MBE. It’s a cause I’ve volunteered for coming up for 10 years now, pretty much full-time.

“I’m extremely dedicated to Art for Cure, having been diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 46.

“After this, I wanted to contribute and give back to the researchers to save people’s lives.

“I work with 11 amazing people – and this recognition is both a great milestone for our team, a testament to their work, and a real motivation for small charities – and gives us the impetus to carry on.”

Since its foundation in 2014, Art For Cure has sold £3m worth of art, equalling about £1.3m in donations.

Belinda said she first found out that she had been nominated for an MBE a few weeks ago.

She told of her excitement to receive the award, and plans to take her husband, Alex – who she described as a huge supporter – and two children, Sam and Millie, to the ceremony with her.

Belinda said the award filled her with a new sense of motivation going into the new year.

As for the future, Art For Cure will celebrate its 10th birthday in September.

Later this month, the charity will host a cycle challenge to Cuba and will host its ‘Journey’ exhibition in Aldeburgh in May.

Belinda and her team, which consists of volunteers, host exhibitions and curate art together.

Art For Cure gets its donations from the proceeds of artwork sales, which can include paintings, sculptures, ceramics and more.

It gets commission after artists are paid for their work, which is awarded to specific research projects.

In addition to its donations to research, it also had grant funding to help those affected by breast cancer.

Belinda added: “Charity work can be tough and a bit of a slog.

“It’s not very financially rewarding and there’s a lot of fundraising. But we’ve had a lot of great messages from the community, which is really humbling.

“It’s lovely to see so many people are behind charities like ours and I hope this gives us wider appeal for our work.”