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12-year-old raises £65k through woodwork

Words by Smiley Team

A 12-year-old boy from Cumbria has raised more than £65,000 in just 48 hours, after thousands entered a raffle to win a one-off wooden bowl made by the young star to support children and families in Ukraine.

Gabriel Clark went viral after his Dad issued a plea on Twitter for people to follow his son’s woodwork Instagram account to boost his small following.

Within days, Gabriel’s Instagram following rose to almost a quarter of a million including Radio1 DJ Greg James and TV presenter Zoe Ball.

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Gabriel had originally planned to sell his bowls to fund a new mountain bike, but when 20,000 commissions flooded in after his Dad’s tweet, he realised he couldn’t fulfil all the orders alongside his school and homework.

Using his new-found Instagram fame for good, Gabriel carved a beautiful wooden bowl, etched with a blue and yellow ring (the colours of the Ukraine flag), to raise funds for Save the Children’s Ukraine appeal, after seeing harrowing footage of the war-torn country on the news.

Gabriel said: “I’m blown away by the number of orders I’ve received. I feel bad that I can’t make all the bowls, but I worked out that even if I quit school, which I don’t think my mum and dad would be very pleased about, it would still take me 32 years if I made three a day!”

'I originally wanted to raise £5,000'

The youngster, who lives in the Lake District with his TV & film director dad Richard Clark, and artist mum Teresa Clark, discovered his passion for woodwork at the age of just three, with his first creation being a balsa wood tractor. Other early works include a directing stick for his father, a pair of drumsticks for a friend and a peanut dispenser.

“I’m overwhelmed by the level of support I’ve received," he said. "I originally wanted to raise £5,000 and this has just blown that out the water, I’m amazed!

"I really hope that everyone’s generosity can help children affected by the war in Ukraine, by providing them with food, water, shelter, and safe places to learn and play.” 

The draw for Gabriel’s Bowl for Ukraine is open until Easter Sunday, with all money raised going to Save the Children’s Ukraine Appeal.

Save the Children staff and volunteers are distributing food, water and hygiene kits to refugees arriving at the Romania-Ukraine border and in reception centres. In Poland and Romania, Save the Children provides child protection services including targeted support for unaccompanied and separated children, psychosocial support, and access to legal services.

Inspired to act?

SUPPORT THE CROWDFUNDER: You can donate on JustGiving towards Gabriel's bowl

DONATE: Support Save the Children by donating to their Ukraine appeal


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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