My Board requires me to run the trust service as professionally and economically as possible.

They insist that my priority is to never forget that each beneficiary is different, and to be there for each one. Placing the beneficiary at the heart of everything we do is a huge motivator for me. And leads to lovely things happening, including the bespoke design of our Christmas card.

It was in the course of approving a spending request for Stephen’s art sessions that I began to grasp the extent of his talent. Sally Bradley, the Trust Relationship Manager, had met Stephen at his review visit, and had seen his work. It took her less than 60 seconds to explain how important creating art was Stephen, and for us both to wonder how we might showcase his work.

Sally asked Stephen and his art tutor if he would create our 2013 Christmas card. Stephen agreed and asked for a design brief and timescale. He provided early sketches and in due course a coloured pencil drawing.

The thrill of carefully unpacking Stephen’s painting was an unforgettable highlight of 2013.

We had no idea how to convert a piece of original art in to a Christmas card. Ransirini Meegama, our new Deeds Administrator, took on the task and found the right people to help us in the best way. The results are excellent.

The 6 weeks it took to get from art piece to Christmas card gave us ample time to become accustomed to Stephen’s painting. And I remain delighted by it.

The bright eyes of the partridge are circled by delicately feathered grey and red. The pears hang heavy from the tree, perfectly ripe. The tree itself continues to fascinate me. It is balanced but not symmetrical. Simple but not childish.

I will be sorry to return the painting, but I will! And I hope to see more of Stephen’s work.

Thank you Stephen, your painting is beautiful.