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A young woodwork star’s latest creation has raised £250,000 for children in Ukraine

Talented wood whittler Gabriel Clark’s work went viral on social media following his dad’s plea for support. Now the youngster has raffled off his handmade bowl to raise money for Ukrainian children

A 12-year-old boy whose woodwork went viral has now raised £250,000 to help children in Ukraine by raffling off a handmade bowl.

Gabriel Clark, from the Lake District, broke hearts on social media after his dad Richard’s tweet revealed that he was being teased for only having six followers on Instagram, and had been told his love of woodwork was “not cool”.

Following his dad’s appeal for support, Gabriel’s Instagram followers jumped from six to 250,000 and he received more than 20,000 commissions to craft bowls for customers.

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The youngster decided to use his newfound social media fame for good and launched a raffle for his latest bowl adorned in Ukrainian colours to raise £5,000 for Save the Children’s Ukrainian Appeal. The heart-warming gesture has now raised almost £250,000 with the bowl off to a new owner in the UK

When the fundraiser smashed the £150,000 milestone, Gabriel said on Instagram: “Guys I’ve got no words. That’s mental.

“I can’t say anything apart from thank you. I’m probably just going to make a bowl.”

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While the raffle has now closed, Gabriel’s craftsmanship and fundraising efforts have caught the eye of big names such as Stephen Fry and Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs.

Fry said: “I think we can all agree that Gabriel and his beautifully made bowl are amongst the best things any of us have seen for a very long time. If you start a business, Gabriel, I’m on the look out for something fine for my morning porridge.”

Gabriel’s fundraiser continues to raise money for Save The Children’s appeal until Saturday. The charity has said around half the five million people who have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began in February are estimated to be children.

The fundraising efforts for Ukraine are a fitting end to Gabriel’s rise to fame, according to father Richard.

“What an extraordinary tale it has been,” he said to his followers on Twitter. “A ‘twitter-tale’ of hope and joy and kindness and resolve. A tale of big hearts, huge generosity and the strange power we hold at our fingertips.

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“Save The Children pass on their immense thanks and gratitude for all that you have done. Lives, children’s lives, will be made immeasurably better because of you, and, in some cases, saved. That is no small thing.

“You’ve written a glorious ending to this little Easter fable. One that I could never have imagined possible. Myself and Gabriel both thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

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