Charles Bronson: Infamous inmate helping Yorkshire woman raise money for mastectomy scars tattoo charity

A tattooist running a charity that covers mastectomy scars with floral designs has secured an unlikely benefactor - Charles Bronson.

Kate Challinor, 44, spends her time covering scars with free inkings to bring confidence to patients after surgery. The self-taught tattooist started a charity in February 2022 to help ''as many women as possible''.

One of Kate's trustees, Miranda Lyon, 47, reached out to Bronson on the 'Free Charles Bronson' Facebook page in January 2024 and was shocked to discover he was keen to help the cause.

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Charles Bronson, 71, known as the UK's most notorious prisoner, then created a drawing with ink and pencil for Kate to sell, to raise funds for the charity.

The postcard Kate received from Charles Bronson.The postcard Kate received from Charles Bronson.
The postcard Kate received from Charles Bronson.

Now, the Incedkible Foundation is holding a bidding an auction, open to the general public to sell Bronson's work.

Kate, from Kippax, said: "I was completely shocked. The trustee never thought he would respond. I sent him a postcard, and he was so kind. Britain's most notorious prisoner was very sweet. I started this charity to help people feel confident again. Tattoo-wise, scar tissue is incredibly expensive and difficult to work on.

"I spend hours and days on every design, and they're completely free. Scarring is our battle wounds. Confidence is crucial to every woman."

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Charles Bronson was first convicted of armed robbery in 1974 aged just 22 and sentenced to seven years. Over the years, he has garnered the title of the most violent criminal in prison for his hostage attempts and confrontations with guards.

Kate ChallinorKate Challinor
Kate Challinor

However, Bronson made a splash in the art world after he took up art in Wakefield Prison, and in 2014 sold a variety of pieces and says he wants to help charities with his work.

Miranda reached out to Bronson after following his story online, and was fascinated by "naughty men." After chatting for a few years over postcards, Miranda asked if he would donate a piece of art to the Inkcredible Foundation.

Fellow artist, Kate taught herself to tattoo on friends for over 12 months before moving on to a real life client. Her first mastectomy client was friend, Liz Burn, 55, a nurse, who was left with a scar after a single mastectomy due to breast cancer.

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Kate said: "I was incredibly nervous to work on Liz. She had been through so much, I just wanted to make her feel good. We loved chatting during the session and even had a little cry."

Chrles Bronson in 2018Chrles Bronson in 2018
Chrles Bronson in 2018

After 24 months of freelancing, she launched the Inkredible Foundation in May 2023 - a charity that offers tattoos of any size to cover scars for free.

Kate started this charity with her husband, Stuart Challinor, 55, who works with adults with autism and is a chairman of the charity.

In the short time since their launch, Kate has tattooed over 70 women left with surgical scars that were having a ''detrimental effect'' on their daily lives.

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Kate said: "My favourite part is watching their confidence return. Most of these women wouldn't leave their homes. They would wear jumpers in the scorching heat."

Kate spends over 10 hours on every session with some requiring multiple sessions to complete. The charity even created a calendar for 2024 - filled with women showing off the new tattoos covering their scars.

After becoming a full-time tattooist, Kate is looking to fundraise for her charity to continue providing free services to cancer survivors with scars.

The current bid for Bronson's art piece is £700, with all proceedings going to the Inkredible Foundation to help fund every piece.

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She said: "Everyone deserves to feel beautiful. Breast cancer is a life-altering disease. I'm so happy that Charles Bronson agreed. I hope we can show people the importance of feeling beautiful with scars. Every survivor deserves to live unapologetically."

For more information about TheInkredibleFoundation and the current bids, visit here: