Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Girl, 7, makes gift cards for charities caring for brother

Girl, 7, makes gift cards for charities caring for brother

A GIRL is selling gift cards featuring her paintings to raise money for two charities which care for her brother.

Amelie Turnbull, seven, from Caversham, started creating the watercolours at her kitchen table during last year’s lockdowns.

When friends and family asked if they could buy them, she decided to sell them more widely and donate half her profits to the charities which help her brother George, 14, who has lobar holoprosencephaly, a rare congenital brain malformation.

They are Camp Mohawk in Wargrave, a multi-functional day centre for children with special needs, and Music Club, which also supports young people with disabilities and meets at Woodcote village hall.

Amelie said: “I am selling the cards to make money for George’s favourite charities because they help him a lot. I feel proud when people want to buy my cards and I like telling my friends about it.”

Amelie uses recycled paper and has painted peacocks, flamingos, dragonflies and hedgehogs as well as various flowers and plants, including watermelons.

Her mother Davina, who works for the NHS, said: “Amelie has always loved art and animals and she spent a lot of time at the kitchen table creating things.

“When you have a child with special educational needs, it’s difficult to get out as a family.

“George’s behaviour can be challenging at times and that meant Amelie and her brother Harry had to find ways to entertain themselves.

“When she started making these watercolour paintings, we thought they were amazing. We decided to put them on my Facebook page to start with and tried to sell them and give some of the money for charity.

“ The original 10 cards sold out in one day and we thought, ‘Maybe we have something here and maybe we can help the charities’.

“Nood Stores in Caversham decided to buy 150 cards and we now have a little website where people can also order larger prints. We had more than 850 visitors in less than a week.

“It’s really amazing and we are making the most of it.

“Seeing people liking her paintings so much has given Amelie more confidence — she is normally a very shy kid. The paintings really reflect what she loves: animals and nature.

“My grandma used to paint with watercolours and it’s lovely for me to see that Amelie loves them too — it feels like it runs in the blood.

“It’s lovely to give something back to the charities that have done so much for us.

“Camp Mohawk is a beautiful place and a wonderful day out I can manage on my own with George and the kids. Music Club had sessions during lockdown and George really loves music — it helped him massively.”

Amelie has also made Christmas cards and has already sold more than 100 of them.

Ms Turnbull added: “It was really important for Amelie to have fully recycled paper and she is learning a lot about the environment at school and wanted to be eco-friendly.”

Amelie’s cards cost £3 each or £10 for four. They are available from FourState in Duke Street, Henley, and Nood Stores in Church Street, Caversham, as well as at www.littleamelieart.com

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