Haverhill youngster helps create a better future for the less fortunate

Riley Brown at home making some new pictures for charity.
Riley Brown at home making some new pictures for charity.

Young Riley Brown is not like most six-year-old boys - but seeing how he differs from most you cannot possibly want him to change.

About three weeks ago Riley was walking with his mum Jo to his nan’s when he suddenly announced he wanted to sell some of the many pictures he draws at home.

When his mum asked what he would do with the money he said he wanted to send it to poor children who had no food and so the idea for Money for Tummies was born.

The idea is simple, Riley, of Forest Glade, Haverhill, draws pictures and sells them upon request via www.virginmoneygiving.com/moneyfortummies.

The money is split 50/50 between Oxfam and Barnardo’s, a decision influenced by Riley, as his mum explained.

“He wanted to raise money for the children in Africa and help some children here because there’s lots of children in England who have no food too, so he wants to have half sent there and half here.”

The idea has quickly caught on, with requests coming from all over the country, including one from Ireland.

Companies even contact him and ask for bespoke logo designs. All buyers have to do is pay a minimum of £1.

Stamped addressed envelopes are sent in the pictures dispatched.

Riley’s four-year-old sister Sophie also helps out, putting stickers on the envelopes that are sent out.

Jo explained more: “I said to Riley how much are your pictures going to be and he said £1m and I said that’s a little bit high so we settled on £1.

“Before we knew it we had £100 on there. One woman paid £20 for one.”

Riley is prolific, producing about 50 drawings a day as his mum and dad Joe get through three reams of paper each day, he reckons he asks for another piece of paper ‘every 53 seconds.’

Every morning he gets up and wants to draw what he has dreamt about, but his source of inspiration is varied, as Riley, a pupil at New Cangle Primary School, said: “I get ideas from computer games and from my head, definitely from my head.”

As for the future, Jo said: “I said to Riley have you got a target in mind and he said £100 and when he got to £100 (currently £444 has been raised) I said do you want to stop and he said ‘no, there’s still lots of hungry children to feed’ so as long as he is happy to roll on, we will roll on.”