Boys, 10, raise £300 for charity selling bookmarks at Fetcham school
A 10-YEAR-OLD whose brother died of leukaemia has spent two days selling homemade bookmarks to raise money for charity.
Thomas Burnett and his classmates Reece Wallace and Nathan McCleave, both 10, designed and sold the bookmarks at Eastwick Junior School in Fetcham, where they are students.
The trio set up shop at Ali's Place, a gazebo built in memory of Thomas' brother Alastair, who died of Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukaemia in 2009 at the age of six.
The money raised from the event will go to the Royal Marsden Hospital, where Alastair was treated before his death.
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Thomas said: "My friends and I were thinking about how we could give something back to the hospital for all the amazing things they did for my brother and we came up with the idea of selling bookmarks. We spent over six months planning it and coming up with designs and colouring them in and it's all led up to these two days.
"We are doing this because cancer is an awful disease and we wanted to help the Royal Marsden fight it, and at the same time repay them for all their kindness during my brother's illness."
The boys created more than 500 bookmarks to sell over the two days, making more than £300.
"The rain was pretty hard during the whole week so we were worried we might not have many customers," added Thomas. "But our spirits weren't dampened. Plus we were protected by Ali's Place so we didn't mind."
Thomas' mother Kate Burnett said: "I think the whole thing is phenomenal. The boys, and Thomas especially, felt the need to give something back to the Royal Marsden and they've done that by the bucketful. I'm so incredibly proud of Thomas and his friends. Thomas has always said that he wanted to do something for the people that took care of Alastair and to do something in memory of his brother.
"It's been a way for him to express his grief at the same time as keeping his brother's memory alive and doing something for charity.
She added: "They worked incredibly hard to make this happen. They organised meetings with the head teacher and deputy head, they designed the bookmarks themselves and even put up posters advertising it."
Teacher Lisa Ashdown said: "The school is very proud of them. They have done very well as they have achieved it completely off their own backs, in their own time."
- For more information about the hospital, visit www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk or call 020 7352 8171