A 10-year-old rugby fan is hoping to raise thousands for frontline healthcare heroes after coming up with the idea of selling a rainbow-design rugby shirt and rugby ball for North Devon charities.
Ryan Mahajan enlisted the help of his family’s company, Aramis Rugby in South Molton, to produce specially-designed shirts and rugby balls, with every penny from sales going to North Devon Hospice and hospital charity Over and Above.
Both are now available to buy from the Aramis website, at £45 for the shirts and £25 for balls. You can even buy a set of four rainbow-themed face masks too for £20.
The entire amount will be donated to the charities, with Aramis absorbing the production costs.
Ryan, who is a keen rugby player for Barnstaple RFC Under-11s, said: “I felt bad that while we are safe inside our homes in lockdown, the healthcare workers were working to save lives, sometimes risking their own.
“I want to raise a lot of money for healthcare workers as they don’t sometimes get to see their loved ones because of working in hospitals and hospices. I want to thank them for helping sick people and for helping us during coronavirus.”
Ryan’s mum, Roshni Mahajan, sales and marketing director of Aramis Rugby, said the whole thing had been his idea.
She said: “It is important for us to support and promote our local community.
“Last year we broke the Guinness World Record for the largest rugby ball ever produced, and that also raised lots for charity and helped to put North Devon in the spotlight.
“As a parent I am really proud that Ryan has understood and is working towards our ethos, which is to invest in the community and that commerce will follow.”
Hospice nurse Caroline Facey said: “We simply wouldn’t be able to do this without amazing people like Ryan and the team at Aramis.
“We are blown away by their generosity and think this is a really imaginative way to encourage people to show their support. I’d encourage anyone, rugby fan or not, to go and buy a shirt or a ball, because it really will make a difference to someone’s life.”
Josh Allan from Over and Above added: “Aramis have a history of delivering fantastic fundraisers in support of their community and it’s great to see the next generation in Ryan have been inspired to get creative and raise money for local causes.
“During such uncertain and challenging times, the generosity and kindness shown by our communities has continued to lift the morale of staff at North Devon District Hospital.”
To buy a rainbow rugby shirt or ball, go to AramisRugby.co.uk/charity .