Artist donates painting to fund in memory of Cromer teenager

Samuel Thomas and Ellen Mezzetti

Samuel Thomas, a Norwich-based artist, has donated a painting to the Ellen Mezzetti memorial fund, which raises money for Epilepsy Research UK. - Credit: Courtesy of Samuel Thomas and John Mezzetti

A north Norfolk artist has donated a painting worth £1,850 to a fund established in memory of a young epilepsy victim.

Samuel Thomas said he was "inspired" by the family of Ellen Mezzetti, a 16-year-old student from Cromer who died from a seizure in February 2006.

After her death, her family set up a memorial fund through Epilepsy Research UK in honour of the bright youngster who had been predicted to get 10 A to C grades in her GCSEs.

Ellen Mezzetti

Cromer student Ellen Mezzetti was 16-years-old when she died from a seizure in 2006.

Mr Thomas, who grew up in Cromer and now lives in Norwich, said: “The family reached out to ask if I could help them towards their auction prizes, as last year I raffled of an original painting which raised £5,000 for north Norfolk's Macmillan centre 

“I was inspired by the Mezzetti family's efforts and perseverance in overcoming their grief for their young daughter and their resilience in how they decided to steer their mindset towards helping raise money for Epilepsy Research UK to help avoid something like this happening to future families.

Samuel Thomas

Samuel Thomas with his painting of cherry blossoms which he has donated to a fund established in memory of Cromer teenager Ellen Mezzetti who died from a seizure in 2006. - Credit: Courtesy of Samuel Thomas

“They saw a way of helping improve the lives of other families in the future, and they decided to put their daughters name to ’The Ellen Mezzetti Memorial Fund’.  

“This was really inspiring to hear, and therefore I really wanted to help make their fundraising a success," Mr Thomas said.

The original painting, measuring 70cm by 100cm and valued at £1,850, shows an avenue of cherry blossom trees.  

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It can be won via an online raffle which runs until July 2, finishing on the night of the grand charity Butterfly Ball at Sprowston Manor in Norwich.  

The raffle tickets are £10 each.

A painting of cherry blossoms by Norfolk artist Samuel Thomas.

A painting of cherry blossoms by Norfolk artist Samuel Thomas. - Credit: Courtesy of Samuel Thomas

Since the 'Ellen Mezzetti Memorial Fund' was set up, the family have raised £139,000 for Epilepsy Research UK. 

Ellen’s father John Mezzetti said: "We're still doing quite well."

The Butterfly Ball which is normally held every two years was cancelled in 2020. 

"Independent businesses in Cromer have been really good donating prizes. They’ve stepped up above and beyond again," he said.

The Mezzetti family from Cromer

The Mezzetti family, from left to right: John, Henry, Lynne and Jack. - Credit: Courtesy of John Mezzetti

He said that at previous balls prizes included Queen member Brian May's guitar and a holiday for six people to Portugal.

Tickets for the ball can be purchased by emailing Mr Mezzetti at