A SOUTHAMPTON tattoo artist is launching a special charity day to raise funds for a terminally ill woman who dreams of visiting Nashville.

Ben Coomber is a resident artist at BJ's Tattoo Studio on Bridge Road in Woolston, which is owned by his friend Barry Johnson.

The pair have known each other since Ben was just 14-years-old after his dad popped in to get a tattoo on the shops opening day 22 years ago.

Daily Echo: Barry Johnson and Ben Coomber.

Last year, Barry's wife Lucy was diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer on the brain, during July.

Ben told the Daily Echo: "I was devastated, [Lucy] was not even 40 yet, and with Barry just 50 they were still so young with so much life to live.

"I felt so useless with Covid restrictions I just wanted to drive there straight away give him a hug and show my love and support as they have done for me over the years.

"A couple of years ago my dad sadly passed and they were incredible nothing is ever to much for them.

Daily Echo: Barry and Lucy.

"Also after losing my mum to cancer when I was 11 I knew just how important having someone there for you is."

Lucy, mother to 17-year-old Tiana, mentioned how she dreamed of visiting Nashville for the country music.

"As long as I can remember they’ve loved their country music. I mean they won’t mind me telling you they even have the cowboy boots and hats for when they go to gigs," Ben said.

Daily Echo: Barry and Lucy Jonson with their daughter Tiana

In a bid to show his love and support, Ben has organised a charity tattoo day on December 4 at the shop to raise funds to help fulfil Lucy's dream trip.

Ben will be tattooing people from 9am with a choice of pre-drawn flash tattoos available from £40 to £80.

No booking is needed and all of the money raised will go to Lucy and Barry to pay for travel insurance costs which due to her being so ill are incredibly high. He hopes to raise £4,000.

Daily Echo: BJ's Tattoo Studio in Woolston.

The event is open to anyone aged 18-years-old and over and there will also be sweets and cake.

Ben said he will "tattoo all day until there’s no one left to tattoo", adding that he might even don some fancy dress.

Barry took part in a charity bike ride with his friends for brain tumour cancer and was able to raise £7,000.

"To me that just shows how kind and selfless they are as a family," said Ben.

"This is why it’s so important to me they are my family and I love them.

Daily Echo: Ben Coomber.

"Barry has given me so much opportunity and great life advice over the years, I will do anything I can to give them precious memories that will last them a life time, just as someone had done for me when I was younger.

"This is something I want for them as I feel they really deserve it and know just how important it is."

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/trying-to-give-lucy-her-dream-nashville-trip