Exclusive artwork by internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Damien Hirst has been donated to Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT).

LPT is the only East Midlands Trust and one of just two mental health Trusts in the country to receive one of the limited edition ‘Butterfly Rainbow’ prints which the artist created in May to show support for the NHS in the coronavirus pandemic.

The stunning work is made up of bands of coloured butterfly wings, one of his best-known motifs.  All profits from sales of the limited edition artwork, a total of £1,508,172, were donated to NHS Charities Together and 70 of the limited edition prints have been sent to NHS Trusts.

Angela Hillery, chief executive of LPT (left) and Trust chair Cathy Ellis were among the first people to enjoy a preview of the work when it was delivered to the Bradgate Mental Health Unit on the Glenfield Hospital site.

Both were delighted with the artwork. Cathy Ellis commented: “It is such a poignant tribute to the work of our teams during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Damien Hirst has said: “I wanted to do something to pay tribute to the wonderful work NHS staff are doing in hospitals around the country. The rainbow is a sign of hope and I think it is brilliant that parents and children are creating their own version and putting them up in the windows of their homes.”

Angela added: “Thank you, it’s stunning and means so much to us.”

All artwork was gifted with the stipulation that it is displayed for members of the public to enjoy and LPT’s Butterfly Rainbow will be mounted permanently in unit’s reception area.

The Bradgate Unit has a rich tradition of weaving art into patient care. The Trust employs two arts in mental health co-ordinators who work with inpatients and service users to support recovery through painting, drawing poetry, prose and music and the work produced features in regular arts exhibitions on the site.

One of the team, Tim Sayers said: “It is a great privilege that the Trust has been donated this artwork by Damien Hirst. It is wonderful that he has taken the time to make this gesture to raise funds for the NHS and to pay tribute to the hard work and endurance of NHS workers through these incredibly difficult times.”