Great Britain

Boy, 7, raises money for COVID-19 fund after making t-shirts which sold worldwide

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD boy from Bradford has raised over a thousand pounds for some of the district's most vulnerable, after producing and selling tie-dye t-shirts online - receiving orders from across the world in the process.

Jay Niblock, from Thornton, made the t-shirts from scratch - with help from his family - and donated all of the £1,311 raised to a coronavirus relief fund.

Jay's efforts have been an international success, with the tie-dye tops being ordered by people from as far afield as Canada, Norway and Sweden.

He has also enjoyed success on home soil, while orders have come in from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Skye in Scotland, too.

The money raised has been used to help distribute food packs to vulnerable families across both Bradford and Leeds, in conjunction with Life Church, where both of Jay's parents work.

Jay, who has now started to go back to school amid the easing of lockdown measures, has been likened to a "CEO" by his proud parents, taking part in the production of the t-shirts, as well as advertising them on a website made by his family.

He has also appeared in promotional videos which his family uploaded to social media, where many of his customers have come from.

"I wanted to help people and show them all that we care for them", Jay said.

"I think that it's really important to look after each other and that's why we decided to make these tie-dye t-shirts and raise money for the coronavirus relief fund.

"I got a little bit nervous half-way through the process, because there were so many t-shirts to make. But, in the end, it felt good to do something which was not only helping other people, but was also really fun.

"All the tees looked great in the end and it made me feel really happy. To see people actually wanting to buy our tie-dye t-shirts was really encouraging!"

Jay's mum, Abs Niblock, as well as younger brother, 3-year-old Sonny, helped him with the production. They would soak the t-shirts in dye and wash them, while neighbours would also help by hanging the t-shirts on their washing lines.

"I think what Jay has done is an amazing accomplishment for anybody, let alone for a 7-year-old", said Abs.

"It was a lot of work, but it has taught him and of all of us a lot. I’m glad that he has made such a positive impact at this time."

Dave Niblock, Jay's dad, said: "Jay was off school due to lockdown and my wife was trying to create activities for our four kids. My wife suggested making tie-dye t-shirts, and Jay suggested that they should make them for other people, too.

"My wife and I both work for Life Church, which has set up a COVID-19 relief fund, where we've donated hundreds of food parcels to families.

"We rely on people donating money, so we can buy the items, but some have also been donated to us. We thought it would be good to combine this with the t-shirts.

"We posted on Instagram to say we were selling them, with all the money going to the relief fund. We got an overwhelming response and, after setting up a website, soon got over 175 orders.

"I'm very proud of Jay. It's been a challenging time for him, being away from his friends. But he was still thinking about others and those who may be less fortunate.

"It's also nice to encourage that entrepreneurship in him too, which will stand him in good stead for the future. It creates a sense of fulfilment to start a project and then finish it.

"This is all something I think he'll always remember when he's older. He'll remember the COVID-19 lockdown, but also the project that he led within it."

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