Animal artist Alison McQuail is raising funds for the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) with a unique pet portrait competition.

Alison, based in Birmingham, specialises in portraits of animals including domestic pets, wildlife and farm animals. She is also a committed charity fundraiser having raised thousands of pounds for local and national charities through organising events and online raffles.

The idea for a portrait competition grew from the realisation that pets and wild animals were a huge source of emotional support to people of all ages and backgrounds through the lockdowns of 2020-21.

Alison also wanted to honour the contribution of nurses during the pandemic and raise funds for a charity that supports nurses in so many ways. Her brother works for the Queen’s Nursing Institute and several members of the family have been nurses, including their mother and grandmother.

Funds raised by the competition will be used to support the QNI’s TalktoUs service, which offers a listening service to nurses who need to talk in confidence to challenges in work or personal life.

We are delighted - and very grateful - that Alison is running this competition to fundraise for the QNI's TalkToUs listening service. Over the last year, we have heard from the community nurses in our networks how immensely helpful pets have been to their owners during lockdown – this includes both the nurses and the people they serve in their communities - so this is a very topical indeed. We look forward to receiving the entries and congratulating the lucky winner!

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, QNI Chief Executive

To enter the competition, visit Alison’s JustGiving page (LINK: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/queensnursinginstitute ) and follow the instructions.

Each entry is a minimum of £5 donation to the Queen’s Nursing Institute and to enter your pet for the competition, email Alison with a photo of your pet and your entry as follows:

‘In 100 words or less, describe how your pet has lifted your spirits, or those of your friends and family during lockdown, and benefitted your physical and mental health, for example by their companionship or encouraging you to take exercise.’

Winners will be chosen from a shortlist by a panel of QNI staff and trustees.


GDPR notice. Your personal data will only be used for the purposes of the competition and will not be shared without your consent.

The decision of the judges shall be final.


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