Peterborough family business launches special product collection to support Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in memory of mum

A Peterborough based family business has launched a special product collection to support Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice - and help families capture treasured memories of loved ones.

By Stephen Briggs
Monday, 24th May 2021, 5:00 am
Simon Baker and Anna Auty have come up with the idea to support the hospice that cared for Anna's mum
Simon Baker and Anna Auty have come up with the idea to support the hospice that cared for Anna's mum

Simon Baker 44, and Anna Auty, 39, from the city, came up with the idea after creating a commemorative canvas for Anna’s mum, Janet, for her funeral in 2020 and wanting to do something to raise funds for Sue Ryder, having experienced first-hand the expert care they provide at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

The couple, who have been together for twenty years, have been running their business Pics on Canvas for eight years.

Anna said: “We sadly lost mum, Janet, to breast cancer in January 2020 just before the pandemic hit. She was cared for by Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice and the care she received there was exceptional. The dedicated nurses and volunteers treated her with such respect, kindness, dignity and compassion. They made her final weeks as comfortable as they could and supported our whole family even allowing my sister and Aunt to sleep there so she was never alone without family.

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Simon Baker and Anna Auty have come up with the idea to support the hospice that cared for Anna's mum

“Anything we wanted the amazing staff there did it for us at the drop of a hat, they allowed our dogs to visit as well as the regular visits from the hospice therapy dog, Millie. Nothing was too much trouble for them. We know this charity has struggled to raise funds during the pandemic and wanted to do something to help.

“It was this support which inspired us to give something back and support Sue Ryder through our charity partnership with a dedicated collection of canvas products.”

For each product bought from the Pics on Canvas Sue Ryder collection, a donation of £5 will be made to the healthcare and bereavement charity so they can be there when it matters.

Simon added: “For Janet’s funeral we created a canvas collage of all our favourite photos, from Janet’s childhood and throughout her life. We held the wake in a local pub restaurant where we displayed the large canvas photo collage. It was a real talking point for everyone. To have a centre piece to look at to remember the good times was amazing. It was a welcoming thing. It bought back so many memories for everyone remembering what a wonderful person Janet was.

“We thought, why not support Sue Ryder with a collection of canvases to help raise funds for families who need their care? And from that our Sue Ryder collection was born. We want to help families capture treasured memories on canvas, while raising funds to support other families, like we were supported, at a time it really matters.”

The business is a real labour of love for the couple. Simon added: “Anna and I have been running our business together for eight years. I do the print and design and she makes the canvases.

“Anna’s mum, Janet, had watched our business grow and was proud of us. I think she would be happy to see us supporting such a great charity which helped her. Sue Ryder were so supportive to us all and offered grief counselling, even to this day regularly calling to check in on Anna’s sister to make sure she’s coping ok.”

The Sue Ryder collection has been specially designed to capture treasured memories on canvas, and offers a number of different design options. You can view the range online at

Simon said: “We all have lots of photos on our phones, computers or stuffed away in drawers or in photo albums. I feel often people don’t think about how important photos of our family and loved ones are until our loved ones are gone, and then their photos become such precious memories to us.

“The beauty of a photograph is that it is something we can treasure forever. Pics on Canvas can use digital images or printed images to create our canvas artwork to create something really special.”

Simon added: “We have spent a great deal of time designing the Sue Ryder collection. We really wanted to create something personal for people to treasure forever. We’ve seen first-hand the exceptional care Sue Ryder gives. That’s why we’ve created a personalised collection to best meet people’s design ideas. We are going to keep adding new designs to the collection and will personalise any design to make something truly unique and special.

“We have been through it as a family. The help and the guidance that Sue Ryder gave to us will stay with us forever. We want to do whatever we can to help support the charity.”

For more information on Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice visit: