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Founder of Leeds arts charity dies after cancer battle

Julia Piggott, founder of Leeds-based Pyramid of Arts.

Julia Piggott, founder of Leeds-based Pyramid of Arts.

THE founder of a Leeds-based arts charity for people with disabilities has died.

Julia Piggott, from Harehills, passed away at the age of 62 after a year-long battle with cancer.

Julia set up Pyramid of Arts in 1989 and the charity is still continuing today – 25 years on.

The group originally started as an evening art club at Meanwood Park Hospital, with the aim of creating work that would brighten up the grounds of the hospital.

The work also went on display at such high profile venues as the Leeds City Art Gallery, where the club created a ‘Light Pyramid’ – the origin of the organisation’s name.

When Meanwood Park Hospital shut down, Julia strived to continue providing activities for ex-patients and Pyramid of Arts was set up as a charity in 2002.

Some of the patients from Meanwood Park Hospital still attend classes to this day.

James Hill, director of Pyramid of Arts, said: “Julia was extremely driven and passionate about art for people with disabilities and gave her life over to helping others.

“Over 25 years Pyramid of Arts has brightened the lives of hundreds of people in the city and allowed their creativity to shine. Julia’s legacy is such that the groups will continue to meet, work, learn together, and inspire others.”

The charity, now based at Croydon Street, has a team of 40 staff and volunteers working with 70 artists with disabilities, with various groups for young people and the elderly.

Julia passed away on May 9 at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, surrounded by friends and family.

Her funeral be held at St Aidan’s Church on Roundhay Road at 12pm on Friday, June 6.

Her family have asked that instead of flowers, donations are made to Pyramid of Arts at: www.pyramid-of-arts.org.uk/support-us/.

 

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