A FORMER firefighter has turned his hand to art as he confronts his Parkinson’s Disease head on.

Ian Dunning spent 32 years working for Cleveland Fire Brigade before being diagnosed with the debilitating illness.

Now his love of painting and drawing will help to raise essential funds for the Great North Air Ambulance Service after he donated one of his popular paintings.

The 58-year-old said: “I posted the painting on their website and it proved really popular with people asking if they could buy a copy of it. I know first hand the work that they carry out and decided that I would donate the painting to the charity so they can do what they want with it.”

The painting depicts the charity’s helicopter hovering above a fire engine with Roseberry Topping in the background.

Mr Dunning, of Norton, near Stockton, added: “I will leave it up to the charity what they do with it – they can use it for prints or they can auction it off. I just hope they raise as much money as possible for such a vital service.”

Claire Herworth, spokeswoman for GNAAS, said: “We now plan to auction the painting on the Facebook page, where I am sure we will raise a good sum for our life-saving air ambulance.”

To bid for the painting, visit www.facebook.com/GNairambulance or email claire@greatnorthairambulance.co.uk