Wigan borough Lioness supports local beauty salon and helps beat heart break
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The Lioness star, who grew up down the road from the new Salon 225 Retreat in Tyldesley, cut the ribbon to officially open the new shop as well as pose for photos with guests.
The glittering night included make-up and hair demonstrations, glasses of Prosecco, food donated by local restaurants, and a raffle of prizes donated by local businesses.
But the highlight of the night was the launch of a raffle of a signed portrait of Ella specially created for the event by local artist Sian Absalom, also known as Fanny Gogh.
The prize will also include a signed England T-shirt.
The 51-year old got her artist’s name after using women’s underwear in a mixed media collage she created in 2009.
Since then she has had many more successful exhibitions of her work, including at the National Football Museum in Manchester.
Sian, who also lives in Tyldesley with husband Glenn, said she had a special reason for supporting the fundraising event, as she herself had been through open heart surgery after being born with a hole in her heart.
She wanted to give back to the charity and help fund research which could help people like her in the future.
The mum-of -three offered to create the special portrait of Ella after bumping into one of the salon’s beauticians at the local pub.
She said: “Every time I hear anything about British Heart Foundation I think – that’s for me!
“I was born with an atrial septal defect, also known as a hole in my heart, but even though I always knew there was something not right, it wasn’t diagnosed until I was 39 and had had three children.”
Eventually, Sian had open heart surgery to fix the hole and ended up recovering in intensive care for two weeks with pericarditis and pneumonia.
Thankfully she was soon back up on her feet.
Sian said: “I’m absolutely fine now.
“I still get a bit of pericarditis and I do get tired, so I have to listen to my body all the time.
“But the hole in my heart is completely mended – I know how lucky I am, how incredibly lucky.”
BHF fund-raising manager for Greater Manchester West Phoebe Williams, who attended the event at Salon 225 Retreat, said: “This event was a fantastic way to combine a great night out with raising money for an excellent cause.
“We’re so grateful to the salon for picking British Heart Foundation as the charity they wanted to support, for all the local businesses who donated food and prizes, to Ella for coming along and helping make it such a lovely evening, and to Sian for creating the wonderful portrait of Ella to help raise even more money.
“I know Sian wanted to support this event as a way to help BHF raise more money to help people like herself who have been diagnosed with heart conditions.
“Thank you Sian, Ella and everyone at the salon – your amazing support will help us work towards a future where we can beat heartbreak forever”.