A BRAINTREE artist has put his portrait-painting skills up for grabs as top prize in a charity raffle in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Mike Wills is offering one lucky winner a personal commission if they scoop first place in the £1-a-ticket sweep, which is being organised by ‘friendly society’ Oddfellows.

The self-taught painter and tutor said: “I wanted to help the charity and make my donation really personal, and for it to mean something special to the winner.

“I’m accomplished in portraits, but should they prefer a pet or a favourite landscape, then that’s okay too.”

Mike paints with acrylics and bases his work on supplied photographs. They usually cost between £100 and £200, meaning the raffle winner will get their hands on an original piece for a fraction of its value.

Second prize is a chance to win the services of Michael Trenchard, one of the UK’s leading genealogists, to help research the winner’s family history, which usually costs £150.

Raffle organiser John Jemison chose Alzheimer’s Research UK as part of his year as Oddfellows district chairman.

He said: “We’re delighted that our raffle has such a personal feel to it, with two talented individuals giving up their time to help raise money for a cause that sadly affects so many people and their families in the UK, including my own.”

Alzheimer’s Research is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, dedicated to causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure.

Established in 1810, Oddfellows is also one of the largest and oldest friendly societies in the country, with 314,000 members across 124 branches nationwide.

Its has branches across Essex and regularly raises money for good causes as well as holding social events.

Raffle tickets can be bought at information stands hosted by local Oddfellows members over the summer, which are being held at the George Yard Shopping Centre in Braintree on August 31.

John said: “Basically, if you see us, the Oddfellows, or any of our members out and about this summer, just ask us for a ticket.”

For more information or to buy tickets, call John on 07582 546160.