Brothers find the best for Children in Need

Brothers Max and Joe Wheatley of Thorner, with the Pudsey Bear that sparked their fundraising drive. (S)
Brothers Max and Joe Wheatley of Thorner, with the Pudsey Bear that sparked their fundraising drive. (S)

A Pudsey Bear signed by radio and TV celebrity Chris Evans became the inspiration for two brothers to raffle the best of Leeds for Children in Need.

Enterprising Joe and Max Wheatley, from Thorner, had the presence of mind to ask Chris for his autograph on a chance encounter at CarFest, and thus the seed was sown for their Everything that’s brilliant in Leeds raffle.

Joe, a Year Seven pupil at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), set out to find some really enticing prizes based on all the great things his city had to offer.

He contacted a friend whose mum, Emmerdale actress Gaynor Pickering, kindly supplied a script from the long-running ITV soap signed by the whole cast.

Buoyed by this success Joe went on to gain two tickets for the Leeds Festival 2013, courtesy of the Kaiser Chiefs themselves, a DVD of the Leeds-based BBC series The Syndicate signed by scriptwriter Kay Mellor, and the board game Monopoly – Leeds version.

Joe said: “When we got the Pudsey Bear at CarFest we thought it would be perfect to raffle for Children in Need.

“I’ve mostly been selling tickets at lunchtime at school and with Max’s help have raised over £500.”

Younger brother Max is in Year Two at GSAL’s pre-prep school Rose Court, where he has been selling tickets for the raffle with a little help from his mum, June Wheatley.

She said: “I’m really proud of them both for showing such initiative in gathering these terrific prizes to support Children in Need.

“We know the money raised will go straight to where it’s needed.”