The Tetley – Supporting Superheroes (and this one’s just 8 years old)

The Tetley’s Superheroes of Leeds campaign asks members of the public to nominate anyone they feel has gone that extra mile during lockdown.

One of the responses was unexpected – that of James Tortice, who is creating artwork to sell to raise money for his friend Henry. Henry, who is 5, has neurobastoma. This is an aggressive form of cancer with a 40-50% survival rate. At the time of writing, nearly £139,000 has been raised of the £163,000 money needed so that Henry can join a clinical trial in the USA, which could save his life.

James, who has ADHD and autism, is doing what he can. He sold paintings online, then made some of his artwork into Christmas cards which he sold and hand-delivered around his local area.

James with ‘Flamingo’

In recognition of his kindness and his creativity, James’ mum Karen nominated him for The Tetley award. She explained that James finds sitting still and focussing very challenging, so he approaches his art in short sessions to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Karen is of course very proud of her son, who has so far raised £2,000 for Henry. And Henry’s had some good news, because The Tetley has commissioned James to create a new card design which they will add to their stock in their online shop. Proceeds will go to the fundraiser for Henry.

Adam Roe, Head of Development and Engagement at The Tetley:

“The Tetley is a charity born from a passion for bringing art and people together. Lockdown has been a very difficult time for everyone which is why we wanted to spread some joy with our Superheroes of Leeds campaign, giving people the opportunity to nominate anyone who has creatively made a positive difference during lockdown.

When Karen got in touch to nominate James, we were all blown away by the idea that someone so young could be so empathetic and want to overcome his own struggles in order to help someone else. Not only that, but James is a very talented artist. We were really impressed by the level of skill in his paintings and we’re sure that these cards will be popular with our customers.”

James: “I’m very happy about my nomination and I’m amazed that the Tetley is going to be showing my painting. I feel glad that I’ve been able to help Henry.”

People can still nominate their very own Superheroes of Leeds. All nominees will all be featured in a digital exhibition that will be shared via The Tetley’s website and on social media later in 2021. Nominees are asked to submit photos, paintings, videos or written content to be featured in the upcoming exhibition which will celebrate the everyday heroes, using creativity as a power for good across the City.

Adam: “They don’t have to wear a cape, or even be saving the world, but if there is anybody out there who has been using their talent to make just one part of Leeds a bit better for people, then we want to hear about them.”

You can find out more about The Tetley’s Superheroes: https://www.thetetley.org/whats-on/superheroes-of-leeds

Helen Morgan

Helen's interests are wide-ranging, from food to music to art and comedy.   She is especially keen on writing about local charitable activity and events as well as the opportunities the City Region has to offer to those with hidden talents.

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