Thursday, 24 September 2020
A FIVE-year-old boy has raised almost £400 for the Chiltern Centre in Henley by selling his paintings.
Raffi Barcella’s work has been bought by family and friends who have paid up to £50 for each one.
His pieces feature the colours of the rainbow with messages such as “Let’s Stay Home” and “Love” emblazoned across them.
The proceeds go directly to the Chiltern Centre, off Greys Road, which offers a range of care services to young people aged 16 to 30 with learning disabilities but is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Raffi, who attends Badgemore Primary School in Hop Gardens, Henley, chose to fundraise for the centre as his mother Harriet is the charity’s marketing and communications manager.
He said: “I thought that the people who go to the Chiltern Centre must be having a hard time with this horrid bug.
“Mummy talks a lot about how to keep making money even though we’re not allowed to see each other so I thought I could help.
“When I could go to school, we walked past the Lemongrove art gallery every day and I really liked seeing what they had in the window. I just thought I could sell my art too. Nobody can come into our house at the moment so I put my art on a table outside and it all sold straight away.
“Now mummy has told her friends and they are buying it so quickly I have run out but that’s okay because they tell me what they want and I am going to make more as quickly as I can.”
Tim Hoskins, headteacher of Badgemore, said: “We promote growth mindsets and teach the children that they can make a difference in our world.
“I am proud that Raffi has taken this message to heart and persevered during this challenging time to make a difference in our community.”
Mrs Barcella added: “Raffi has grown up meeting and knowing people with different learning disabilities and he seems able to understand that this must be a very difficult time for them. Of course, he also knows that the fundraising events I am normally dashing off to can’t happen.
“This project was completely his own idea and he was spurred on both by the support of the school and by the fact that his first batch of paintings sold so quickly.
“Clearly fundraising is in the blood.
“I’m really proud of what he is doing. It has not always been easy juggling work and home-schooling so it’s rather nice that the two have collided in this way.”
Paul Barrett, chairman of trustees at the Chiltern Centre, said: “We want to say a big ‘thank you’ to Raffi for all his hard work and to all those who have so generously supported his project.
“With traditional fundraising activities currently suspended, it is support like this from our community that will pull us through this difficult time.
“We are so grateful to all those who have continued to think of us and support us in all sorts of varied ways.”
Raffi is still taking commissions in exchange for a donation. If you would like an artwork, email Mrs Barcella at harriet@chiltern
To make a donation, visit https://bit.ly/2TH1hi2
07 June 2020
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