Elise, six, creates wonderful garden of remembrance – and smashes through her fundraising target

Elise in her beautiful garden of remembrance. Photographs: Chelle Shaw
7 Nov 2020 @ 5.29 pm
| Charity

When it became clear that the remembrance season was going to be a little different this year, one York girl was determined to do her bit to help.

Six-year-old Elise Shaw not only created this brilliant garden of remembrance, she has smashed through her fundraising target, raising hundreds of pounds for the Royal British Legion.

Elise and her family have always attended the Remembrance Day Parade in York.

But like so many events this year, it has been called off due to the pandemic.

Elise planting her poppies

Elise wanted to help raise some money for the Royal British Legion to make up for the inevitable shortfall. And so she decided to fill her garden in Strensall with home-made poppies.

With help from her brother Jake, 11, she created more than 160 – painting them red and cutting them from cardboard, covering them with cling film to keep out the damp.

Meanwhile her mum Chelle set up a Just Giving page with a target of £50. But it has already raised nearly £300.

‘It took quite a while’

Creating the garden at home

Chelle said two of Elise’s great grandparents served in the military, and some of her friends at Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy in Strensall come from armed forces families.

So they were very aware of the importance of Remembrance Day.

Having made cardboard rainbows for the NHS in the last lockdown, they hit on the idea of a display of cardboard poppies.

Look at them all!

“It took quite a while,” Elise told YorkMix. And she didn’t expect to raise so much money.

“We did set a target of £50 because we thought that was a good target – but in 30 minutes we’d reached our target!”

“It was really heartwarming, really overwhelming,” mum Chelle said.

Local people have appreciated Elise’s efforts. “We were chatting to a lady called Dorothy, that we’ve never met before but only lives a few doors down.

“She said it had brightened up her foggy day!”

Chelle added: “It’s all about remembering friends and family, past, present and future military. We need them. And it’s good to support them.”

Elise, meanwhile, has made even more poppies today – so her garden of remembrance is growing yet more colourful.

And her future ambition? “To be a soldier in the army to help people and drive a tank!”