MEET Rosebud and Charlie - two children featured by a York artist with  print sales swiftly raising £250 for those affected by the Ukraine conflict.

Mark Braithwaite and his wife Anne said they felt powerless as they watched the humanitarian crisis unfold but wanted to help in some way.

When they heard about the Disasters Emergency Committee's Ukraine humanitarian appeal, the duo had a 'knee-jerk reaction' and decided to recolour and print images from Mark's popular Rosebud series.

Swapping the little girl's red wellies and umbrella with the blue and yellow colours of Ukraine, the new series is entitled Let the Children Play and is on sale at the couple's Braithwaite Gallery in Low Petergate, and online.

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Charlie's Adventures: On me Ed Son, by York artist Mark Braithwaite, has been recoloured in aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee's Ukraine humanitarian appeal.


"Mark came up with the idea at midnight on Thursday after a couple of days of watching the news in horror," said Anne.

"We had the prints available by 9am on Friday morning, sold the first one within minutes, and over the weekend - just off the back of social media - we've sold enough so £250 has gone to the charity.

"I was up until 2am packing them. It's worth it if it gets help to people."

She added: "I have a friend who works at A&E and she's taken some orders from staff for them as well which is really lovely community spirit.

"We will do it for as long as it's needed, as long as we feel it's making a difference."

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She added: "Normally with charity we would do a project and send the money at the end of it, but with this one, it's needed quickly. I will just send the money to the disaster's fund as soon as we've got a reasonable amount. If the Government is going to match fund that for the time being it's £500.

"It's a good start. Obviously we'd like to do more. There's a lot of work involved with packing them up so it's great if local people want to buy them and come in a grab one; that would be a very quick way of getting money to the charity."

Anne said some people had bought the pictures because they liked the colours, without realising it was for the cause.

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Mark Braithwaite, pictured with his daughter - the young Miss Rosebud when the Rosebud images had just been produced as greeting cards by a national publisher.

Each print sold at the gallery will generate £8 for the appeal - the other £2 is VAT and £2 to cover costs.

Mark also has a stall outside, which is not VAT registered, so Anne said £10 from stall sales would go to the appeal. 

It is not the first time Mark has used his artwork to help good causes.

Inspired by children's pictures of rainbows during the Covid lockdown, as a symbol of support for the NHS, Mark honoured the scenes with a print, Rosebud, Sing a Rainbow, to raise funds for NHS Charities Together.

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His popular Rosebud series of paintings is based on his daughter when she was small.

Anne said she had noticed the wider art world stepping up to help.

"Mark's images can help. We're really pleased. It's so nice to feel you're doing something. You feel so helpless."