A CRAFTSMAN from Machynlleth has pledged to donate money from the sale of wooden furniture and artwork he’s created to Meurig Ward at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth to say thanks for his lifesaving cancer care.

Mark Hodge, 64, says staff at the hospital saved his life following a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma 15 years ago.

Along with his wife Vanphen, 57, Mark has donated around £2,500 to Meurig Ward over the last decade. They now want to raise even more money.

Mark said wants to show his gratitude to the NHS team who cared for him after his cancer diagnosis.

“The staff on the Meurig Ward were so good,” he said. “I had almost given up and wasn’t going to have chemo.

“But when my doctor advised me that the chemo would also help my arthritis, I went for it and thanks to the doctors and nurses I have had an extra 15 years and more to come.”

Mark works almost full-time as a carpenter and builder, and makes the crafts when he has spare time.

He plans to sell paintings, woodwork and furniture in a pop-up shop in Machynlleth when restrictions allow, with all the proceeds being donated via Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official NHS charity for Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

“It will be difficult as I am still working, so I will be juggling work, the pop-up shop and crafting,” said Mark.

“I used to donate some money to the ward whenever I had a check-up appointment, after the cancer, to say thank you. I hadn’t given any this year so that’s when I decided to start selling my crafts and paintings to help raise money for the ward that saved my life.”

During lockdown, Mark’s wife Vanphen joined in with his fundraising efforts. The pair made necklaces for nurses throughout the pandemic.

Tara Nickerson, fundraising manager for Hywel Dda Health Charities said: “We are grateful to Mark and Vanphen for this wonderful gesture.

“The money raised will support services and activities on Meurig Ward above and beyond usual NHS expenditure.”

The pop-up shop address is – 6 Penrallt Street, Machynlleth for shop enquiries.

For more information, contact Mark on 07532 028396.

To find out more about Hywel Dda Health Charities, including ways to give support, go to hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk