A schoolgirl is hoping to raise £1,000 for charity in memory of a friend by raffling off her signed One Direction T-shirt.
Saskia Marriott is raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in memory of Owen Nicholls, who died of leukaemia in 2002, aged six.
The 16-year-old, of Deal Crescent, Warndon Villages, Worcester, won the T-shirt signed by each member of the boy band – Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson – through a competition on Facebook last year.
Saskia, a pupil at Blessed Edward Catholic Oldcorne College, said she decided to raffle the T-shirt after visiting Owen’s grave with her mum before Christmas. She said: “When I was there, I was thinking about how I never went to his funeral so I never got to say goodbye to him. I found that quite difficult to deal with. I always think of him being my age, not six, and me and my mum were talking about what kind of things I’m into.
“I was going through my drawer and saw the T-shirt. I’d thought about it before, but I’d just seen him and I put two and two together, just the timing and everything. It was just going to waste in my drawer and could go to a better cause.”
But Saskia, who has been a fan of the boy band since they appeared on the 2010 series of The X Factor alongside Malvern’s Cher Lloyd, said people can’t believe she’s getting rid of the T-shirt.
She said: “My friends have said ‘I can’t believe you’re selling the T-shirt’. People understand how much I really want to raise money.
“My mum is really proud of me, my dad can’t believe I’m getting rid of the T-shirt.”
Saskia is selling raffle tickets for £2.50 and has already raised £170. After contacting the charity, she was told she needed official raffle tickets, which she expects to receive by the end of the week.
She said anyone who has already bought a ticket will simply receive a replacement. The raffle draw will take place on Saturday, March 30, with all proceeds going to charity. For more information, or to buy tickets, add Saskia on Facebook, facebook.com/saskiamarriott, or tweet @saskia_marriott.