My dad, Terry Ellis, died suddenly on Monday 21st November 2016 following a catastrophic brain haemorrhage. His beloved wife (my step-mum Jean) and I were at his side. My family and I have been shocked and devastated by the loss of a kind, gentlemanly, funny, political, hugely intelligent man.
Dad worked for more than 25 years in children's safeguarding for Camden Council, doing his part to keep the children of North London safe from harm. He was also a passionate, talented artist, producing films, paintings, charcoal and pastel drawings from his studio at his home in North London. A graduate of St Martin's art college, he had exhibited all over the world, including through an established relationship with the New York Film Coop.
In his eighteen months of retirement, dad loved nothing more than to while away the days in coffee shops, art galleries and book shops. He also loved music and film and - as a true Londoner - was never comfortable being more than twenty miles away from his beloved National Gallery.
Many people have asked for a way to honour dad's memory. We can't think of a better way than by asking for donations to Terapia, a local charity based in North London which provide training in counselling and psychotherapy for those working with children who have suffered trauma. Dad would often spend time browsing The Bothy (Terapia's charity shop on North Finchley High Road), dropping off books and bric a brac and - more often than not - leaving having bought as many books as he came in with! He also donated regularly to the charity and was interested in understanding the services they provided and their latest projects.
At the moment, Terapia provide their services from temporary accommodation and through outreach in schools. However they have now acquired the lease on a beautiful building in Finchley. The building needs extensive renovation - once completed, the Terapia Centre will be a peaceful, beautiful space where children who have suffered trauma and need mental health treatment can come for support. The state of the art centre will have purpose-built facilities, play therapy rooms, counselling rooms and sensory equipment, using art, music and play therapy to provide an holistic approach to troubled young people and children.
We know how much dad cared, in his own quiet way, about this cause. In his memory, let's raise some money and help get The Terapia Centre built.
All our love and thanks,
Hannah and Jean x