FLOOD victims who have lost homes and belongings are being helped by international artist Mackenzie Thorpe who has produced a special painting of his former home to help raise money.

Mr Thorpe opened his first gallery in Richmond and said the Dales have always been a special place for him and his family.

When he heard an auction is being held to raise money for victims of the horrendous flash floods which caused devastating damage to more than 300 homes and businesses in Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Wensleydale, he was keen to help.

He said: “The painting Silver Lining depicts a shepherd with his dog, gazing over the glorious Dales with the dark clouds retreating, the silver lining signifying the wonderful community.

“I know the Dales, the people, the farmers, the landscape like the back of my hand. I’ve played with my children there and walked my dogs, there’s simply nowhere quite like it.

“To hear that the whole community has converged to help and support each other is nothing less than I could have expected, it is Yorkshire after all ,so I painted a special original to help with the fundraising.”

The work was presented to fellow artist Michael Bilton, a victim of the floods himself. His Swaledale home and studio were so badly damaged he has had to move out and only managed to rescue three of his partially-soaked six-foot high canvases.

Mr Bilton said Silver Lining will attract an enormous amount of interest, adding: “It’s’a very generous thing for someone like Mackenzie to do. He’s got that love for the Dales, he’s going to feel for it even though he wasn’t there at the time of the flood.”

The painting is being auctioned at a special event – Bands Bids and a Big Night Out – which is being run by the Arkengarthdale and Swaledale Flood Relief Fundraising team at the Garden Rooms at Tennants Auction House in Leyburn on October 19.

Money raised will go to the Two Ridings Community Foundation for distribution to those most in need across Arkengarthdale, Swaledale and Wensleydale.

More than £5,000 worth of raffle tickets have already been sold with the auction of promises standing at more than 70 lots ranging from the painting and an aircraft wing walk to a shepherd’s hut holiday and a complete fireplace.

For more information, visit swalearkfloodfund@gmail.com