‘Seeing how much the funds raised last year have helped the Ukrainian children in Poland, I knew I had to do another fundraiser,’ said Gabriel Clark
A 13-year-old boy who previously went viral for raising £250,000 for Ukrainian children through a raffle to win his handmade wooden bowl has earned the backing of celebrities such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Jeremy Bowen – and raised more than £24,000 from his second fundraiser.
Gabriel Clark, from Kirby Lonsdale, Cumbria, became a viral sensation last year when his ‘Bowl for Ukraine’ – a wooden bowl he carved, which was etched with a blue and yellow ring in the colours of the Ukrainian flag – garnered the attention of avid supporters, who helped him to raise a staggering amount for Save the Children, following a social media post from his father Richard.
Following this success, Gabriel carved a new bowl called The Hope Bowl, which has raised more than £24,000 for the charity’s Emergency Fund to support children in crisis globally, taking his fundraising total to nearly £275,000.
Gabriel hopes his fundraising can “help more children in other parts of the world”.
“Seeing how much the funds raised last year have helped the Ukrainian children in Poland, I just knew I had to do another fundraiser,” he said.
“Meeting other children who are just like me in lots of ways but who have been through so much made me want to help more children in other parts of the world.”
The young carpenter’s Hope Bowl has the backing of several celebrities including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Nick Offerman, Poppy Delevingne and Jeremy Bowen, who shared their support for Gabriel’s fundraiser on social media.
Gabriel feels “so happy” with the support he has received and said the money will “make a huge difference” to children across the globe.
“I’m so happy with the level of support my bowl and I have received again,” he said.
“Last year’s fundraiser was just after the war in Ukraine started, so to know that a year later people still want to help children in Ukraine and other parts of the world is just amazing.
“£24,000 is a lot of money and having seen Save the Children’s work, I know it will make a huge difference to children around the world.”
The 13-year-old, who taught himself woodwork and has been honing his craft since the age of four, created the Hope Bowl in 10 hours and includes three types of wood – ash, sapele and zebrano – which represent three of the main areas of Save the Children’s work around the world – conflict, food and education.
A draw to win the bowl closed on April 14, and Andy McKechnie was announced as winner, who said he is “amazed” to have won.
“I’m so amazed I won, I never win anything,” said Mr McKechnie from South Cerney.
“I saw Gabriel’s story in the news and was so inspired by his efforts to raise money for other less fortunate children.
“The Hope Bowl will take pride of place in my hallway at home, I’m hoping it will provide a conversation starter and remind visitors about children around the world who need our support.”
Lisa Aubrey, head of regional fundraising and engagement at Save the Children, said she is grateful for Gabriel’s support and fundraising efforts for the charity.
“We cannot thank Gabriel enough for his continued support and to everyone who entered the draw for his beautifully carved Hope Bowl,” she said.
“The money raised for Save the Children’s Emergency Fund will help support children in crisis all over the world, from those who have fled conflict in Ukraine to those experiencing hunger in places like Somalia.
“I hope Gabriel’s incredible feat inspires other young people to use their passions and talents to raise money for a good cause, whether it’s a sporting challenge or something more unusual like woodwork, any small action really can save lives.”
The fundraiser can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/page/thehopebowl
Gabriel’s Instagram page can be accessed here: https://www.instagram.com/clarkie_woodwork/