Ukraine war: Woodwork star, 12, raises over £220,000 for Ukrainian children through raffle for handmade bowl

·2-min read

A twelve-year-old woodwork star from Cumbria, has raised over £220,000 for Ukrainian children through a raffle for a wooden bowl he made.

Gabriel Clark, started his Bowl For Ukraine appeal, which features two lines - yellow and blue - representing the country's flag, over concerns for children caught in the war in Ukraine.

According to Save the Children, nearly two thirds of the 7.5 million children in Ukraine have fled their homes since the conflict escalated seven weeks ago.

With the initial hopes of raising £6,000 for Save the Children's appeal, Gabriel's bowl has gone viral on social media.

His father, Richard Clark, has documented his journey as a woodworker via Twitter - showing pictures of his son creating his handcrafted creations.

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The appeal asked those entering to donate to Save the Children, with a chance of winning the bowl.

Thousands of people entered the raffle, and a winner was chosen at random at 6pm this evening.

"We have a winner!! We feel we shouldn't say who until they agree but we can say that the winner was on page 940 donor 8! My Bowl For Ukraine has a new home," a post on Gabriel's Instagram read.

The appeal said Gabriel hopes to "pass on some of the generosity that people have shown him, to children in much greater need".

Gabriel's Instagram account initially took off after his father wrote a series of tweets explaining that his son had come home upset and was not deemed "cool" for his love for woodwork.

Within 48 hours, he went from having six followers, to 227,000 and received around 20,000 commissions for bowls.

Since then, the woodwork star has received lots of online support from the public and celebrities including Stephen Fry and actor Jason Isaacs - who played Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter.

On Instagram and Twitter posts, Gabriel and his father have thanked donors who have helped support the raffle.

In a video, the 12-year-old said: "I can't say anything but thank you".

Mr Clark added: "So thank you, kind Twitter people, for all you have done. Your big-hearted generosity has shone a light in these dark times and has changed young lives - not least Gabriel's."

Save the Children says Ukrainian children are in imminent danger due to hospitals and schools under attack, with particular concerns for badly affected areas like Mariupol, where people also face food and water shortages.

Data from the United Nations estimates that 2.8 million children are now displaced within Ukraine and another two million have fled to neighbouring countries.

The UN has been able to verify the deaths of 153 children, although there are concerns the actual number is almost certainly higher.