A LOTTERY offering entrants the chance to win original works of art has raised £500 for TWIGS, the garden-based mental health charity.

The team behind Swindon Open Studios - an annual celebration of the town’s thriving art community - organised the lottery to coincide with the Swindon Festival Of Literature.

More than 50 postcard sized pieces, created by Open Studios’ participants from the current and previous years, were displayed upstairs in the Arts Centre for the duration of the festival.

Admiring visitors bought tickets for as little as £2, or a number of tickets if they wished, to be in with a chance of taking home one of the original works of art.

Their contributions raised £500 for TWIGS, a community garden in Cheney Manor which serves as a resource for people overcoming struggles with mental health.

Linda Kasmaty, the chairman of Swindon Open Studios, was on hand to present a cheque to the TWIGS team on Sunday.

She said: “The pieces were done specifically for the lottery, they were all five inches by seven inches.

“I quite liked that because it makes it more challenging for the artists - you might thinking working in 5x7 is easy but it’s not.”

This is the second year that an original art lottery has been held. Last year the proceeds were donated to Prospect Hospice in Wroughton.

Linda said this year’s choice was a fairly obvious one.

“I’m a mad, passionate gardener,” she said. “Everyone knows the benefits of gardening, it’s such a wonderful thing but we also wanted to spread the word about TWIGS.

“Those that knew about them already said how fabulous they were and those that didn’t got to find out.

“It raised awareness for TWIGS, and Swindon Open Studios, and the Literature Festival - we could do three things at once.”

Alan Holland, the service manager at TWIGS, said: “This support is really important - £500 goes a long way towards funding our seed order and our plug plant order for the year.

“We normally spend around that figure every year on supplies for the plants we’re going to grow.”

Linda said : “It’s lovely to be a part of that.”

Swindon Open Studios will run during the second and third weekends of September. To find out more visit swindonopenstudios.org.uk or follow @SwindonOpen on Twitter.