ARTISTS' GENERAL BENEVOLENT INSTITUTE; by Owen Legg August 2011

This organisation has been in existence for 160 years, having been founded by members of the Royal Academy, still with trustees from the Academy. It provides much needed help to artists who fall on hard times, paying grocery bills, utilities and rates. When illness strikes it can hit hard in the middle of one's career.

Over the past five years I have raised money for the AGBI, on behalf of the FPS by going on sponsored walks. I have done the Pilgrims' Way, Owain Glyndwr Trail, Hadrian and Antonine Walls and last year I tackled Offa's Dyke. This year I was all set to do the Pennine Way - 100 miles of it. But, a fortnight before setting out I suddenly developed hip pain and could hardly put one foot in front of the other. So I had to cancel all idea of doing the sponsored walk.

But, having booked up my accomodation at the beginning and end of the trip and paid for my rail fare, my wife took the decision to do the whole distance by bus. My hip had improved a bit and I did manage the first 100 yards of the Way. After that though, we used our OAP bus passes to visit Buxton, Holmfirth and Skipton. it was an enjoyable holiday, not at all adventurous as on my previous trips.

Illness and the economic crisis can hit artists hard and the AGBI is still needed to provide help when needed.

So althugh I haven't done a sponsored walk, can you give generously to this charity which the FPS has always supported,by making out cheques to the AGBI and if you pay tax to sign a paper with your address stating that you are a British Tax payer, address Burlington House,
Piccadilly, London WC1.

PS my leg is alot better now and hope to restart my walking. Owen Legg

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