Joanna Lumley

Joanna Lumley Artwork copyJoanna Lumley 9 of Clubs

It is always exciting to be asked to do something you have never done before for a charity that you feel deserves all the help it can get.

When TLC ( fabulous name, by the way: exactly what it says on the tin, tender loving care supporting Transplant Links Community) asked me to design a playing card I felt as though I had won a prize. The chance to sit and think and plan and draw, and all for something as fine as TLC, was all I needed to put the ‘Gone Fishing’ sign on the door.

Before I started my artwork I chose the nine of clubs, for no other reason than nine is a lucky number for cats and the symbol for clubs looks a bit like an oak leaf. Then I examined a traditional nine of clubs playing card and guess what: it is perfect, and cannot be improved.


So then I thought of chaps sitting by candlelight in a cave who must recognise the suit at once ( hence big symbols) and who could read the number nine even if they were Roman centurians. Then I got a bit arty and tried to make it look like a fabric pattern. Then I stopped and left it looking a bit scruffy and unpolished, confident that it wont be reproduced, and will never muck up a game of poker when the stakes are high.

Everything about TLC is music to my ears. What they achieve through their training and skills and application and sheer doggedness is exactly what life is about: never stopping trying to make the world a better place for someone else. I bow my head to everyone on the team.

Kidney transplants are a win-win solution to so much suffering and sorrow, and I send TLC all the loving support and admiration in the world.”

Transplant Links Community is a UK registered non-religious and non-political charity that saves the lives of children and adults in the developing world who suffer from life-threatening end stage kidney disease. Offering teaching and advice, and carrying out living kidney transplants, sharing their knowledge with local medical teams in a variety of countries – so that sustainable transplant programmes become a possibility for the future.

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