Generous Gorleston schoolgirl celebrates five years of her fundraising enterprise


- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A fundraising enterprise set up by a six-year-old schoolgirl is celebrating its five year milestone.

But founder Tia Hutchinson is too busy to mark the occasion to reflect on the £5000 she has raised so far.

The busy 11-year-old is hard at work preparing for her regular events and supplying stalls selling necklaces, key rings, earrings, bookmarks and magnets she has designed and made herself.

Tia, a pupil at Ormiston Herman Academy in Gorleston, part of Ormiston Academies Trust, started her own accessory-making enterprise Tia's Treasures for her best friend Demi, who lost her sight from Retinoblastoma, a tumor behind the eyes, when she was eight years old.

She now makes and sells a range of jewellery and trinkets donating all proceed to charities like CLIC Sargent Charity and the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust as well as local good causes and has her own website.

She also has a regular stall at Herman's termly fair and has just started making items for the League of Friends hospital shop in the JPH foyer where they are proving a big hit.

She said: 'I really enjoy making things and started making jewellery when I was little, then I had the idea to turn it into my own business after I started selling bracelets to my family and friends.

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'I really wanted to do something for Demi and the charities that helped her so I decided to give them all the money that I made.

'Mum gave me some ideas for the name of the business but I wanted to have my own name in the title and the 'treasures' part reflects the things that I make.'

Kathryn Rutherford, principal at Ormiston Herman Academy, said: 'We are extremely proud of Tia, for both the great initiative she has shown and the amazing work she is doing for charity.

'Tia epitomises everything we stand for at Ormiston Herman Academy where we encourage all our students not only to focus on schoolwork but to pursue their passions and develop skills outside of the classroom.'

Karen Roberts, CLIC Sargent fundraising manager, said: 'Tia has shown tremendous support for Demi by raising money for the charities that support the family.

'I have seen some of Tia's lovely jewellery and she is an inspiration to other children to make a difference. CLIC Sargent would like to thank Tia for all her support and for being such a good friend when Demi needed her most.'