A GRIEVING mother is helping to raise funds to build a memorial shelter for her 20-year-old son who died earlier this year.

Anne Braithwaite, of Braithwaite Gallery, Low Petergate, York, is selling raffle tickets for an oil painting of York Minster with proceeds going to a new campfire shelter at Snowball Plantation, the outdoor activity centre at Stockton on the Forest.

The shelter, which will have disabled access, is being built in memory of her “amazing” son Jake, who had autism, and died in May.

Anne, who is married to local artist Mark Braithwaite and has a younger child, Rosie, 10, said: “Jake was truly inspirational. We were all very proud of him. He was an apprentice fabrication engineer – a welder – at Stage One in Tockwith and worked weekends at Cafe Concerto in York.”

Anne said Jake was very creative and loved his apprenticeship – taking the train from York to Cattal then cycling five miles to the site for a 7.30am start every day. After his death, friends and colleagues from Stage One completed a dragon sculpture he had been working on and presented it to the family.

Despite his many achievements, Anne said because of his autism – Jake was diagnosed with high-functioning Asperger’s Syndrome – he struggled with the social side of life, which impacted on his mental health. An inquest has been opened and adjourned into his death.

Jake was a former pupil at York Minster School, Joseph Rowntree School and York College. One of his many achievements, said Anne, was completing his Gold Duke of Edinburgh award, which he received in a special ceremony at St James’s Palace last December.

Jake belonged to Choose2Youth, a not-for-profit social enterprise that works with children, young people and adults with disabilities and additional needs in York. The organisation helped Jake complete his Duke Of Edinburgh award which included many trips to the Snowball Plantation, said Anne.

Donations were taken at Jake’s funeral at York Minster for Choose2Youth, which has also raised thousands of pounds towards the shelter.

Anne said she was moved by the organisation’s plan. “It is really marvellous that they wanted to do something and give Jake a legacy. It really means a lot to us knowing that so many young people will use the shelter. It is something hopefully people will enjoy and I think Jake would have liked it.”

Raffle tickets are on sale at the gallery, as well as online at yorkartist.com, with prices from £2. The painting shows York Minster from the bar walls and is by Yorkshire artist Paul Heeley. Anne said the painting was specially chosen because Jake loved to walk the city walls with her and his younger sister. Tickets are on sale until Saturday, December 22. The painting measures 16x12inches and would normally sell for £250, she added.

Anne said that in addition to fundraising for the shelter, Choose2Youth would like to hear from people able to help with the design of the shelter, provide materials and help with its build. For contact details, visit choose2youth.co.uk.