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Inspirational Jamie, 12, sells VE Day t-shirts after tragic loss of his dad

PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:58 03 May 2020

Jamie wearing the t-shirt he designed. Picture: MANDY SMALL

Jamie wearing the t-shirt he designed. Picture: MANDY SMALL

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A young man from Suffolk has designed VE Day memorial t-shirts as part of his latest charity work to raise money and awareness about suicide, after tragically losing his father four years ago.

Jamie's design for the VE Day t-shirt. Picture: MANDY SMALLJamie's design for the VE Day t-shirt. Picture: MANDY SMALL

Jamie Small first began raising money at the age of nine when he organised a family fun day in his home town Wickham Market in aid of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), which raised £7,000.

The organisation supported him and his mother after dad, Corporal Chris Small, took his own life in 2016 when he was struggling to cope with living outside of the army after 21 years in the Royal Logistics Corp.

Now 12, Jamie has designed 50 special t-shirts to celebrate the anniversary of the Allies victory in Europe on May 8, 1942.

His mum Mandy is incredibly proud of her son and said: “Jamie’s main aim is to stop other children going through what he has.

“At the moment everyone is raising money for the NHS and that is great because obviously they deserve it but there are also a lot of charities which now aren’t getting any money.

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“With big events like the London Marathon cancelled they now don’t have as much money coming in and Jamie wanted to do something for SSAFA.”

The youngster appeared in a video with Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton as part of the SSAFA Big Brew Up campaign last year, and has now opened up for a short film with the British Army about how his father’s suicide has affected him.

Mandy and Chris Small with their son Jamie. Picture: FAMILYMandy and Chris Small with their son Jamie. Picture: FAMILY

“I just can’t feel happiness when he’s not there,” Jamie admits. “In public I won’t like seeing families because I see them having so much fun and I’m like, I wish I could do that.

“My dad was ill, he didn’t get help, please don’t do what he did.”

Keen to do his part for suicide prevention, the youngster has currently raised £815 with his VE Day t-shirts, smashing the initial target of £500.

Mandy said they’ve had an amazing response to the idea and while they aren’t planning on making any more, they do have 10 left – five size smalls and five in a size large.

The mum, a former RAFP dog handler, is now hoping for her son to be nominated for the National Diversity Awards for the Suffolk Coastal District as a positive role model for his work and you can vote for Jamie online.


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