A veteran from Haslingden who found art as a means of coping with PTSD has painted a giant oil painting of a rhino which is being raffled to raise money for charity.

Raffle tickets will be on sale this month to win the oil painting by Falklands veteran, Darren Horsnell.

Darren is the volunteer arts and crafts co-ordinator at the Haslingden-based charity Veterans In Communities, and discovered painting as a means to express himself.

It provided a therapy that enabled him to cope with the traumas of war.

Darren said: “Now the raffling of my rhino painting will benefit others as the money raised will support the work of Veterans In Communities, and will also help raise money to run free art workshops in macramé, glass painting and clay model making.”

The Royal Artillery soldier struggled with anxiety and panic attacks and was diagnosed with chronic post traumatic stress disorder.

He was introduced to painting while being treated at Combat Stress, which set him on the road to recovery.

Now, he has created a giant painting of a rhino, completed in Winton paints on canvas, which is being raffled to raise money for Veterans In Communities.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Darren has been involved with Veterans In Communities since it launched in 2012, and the raffle is his way of saying thank you to the charity for the support it has provided him over the years.

During Covid, Darren’s animal paintings were raffled to help keep Colchester Zoo going when it was unable to open.

He was inspired by renowned wildlife artist David Shepherd, who was well known for his elephant paintings, who then set up the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and was passionate about conservation.

For tickets, which cost £2.50, contact Administrator Amy Thompson at the Veterans In Communities Centre on 01706 833180.

The raffle will be drawn on May 6.

A short animation about Darren’s experiences can be viewed on the Veterans In Communities' website.