Parents' plea over 'hassling' of charity artist, 6

A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy who has raised more than £12,700 for charity through his drawings is receiving "insensitive" e-mails from people demanding his family send them the pictures.

Jack Henderson, from Prestonpans in East Lothian, has been raising money for the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh, where his youngest brother, Noah, is being treated.

However, his parents, Ed and Rose, have been forced to issue pleas for calm after being "hassled and harrassed" by people chasing up their pictures.

They have even offered to refund donations from anyone who is unhappy at a delay in getting a picture from Jack, who has made numerous TV appearances since launching his appeal.

More than 630 people from all over the world have requested a picture from Jack, who had raised more than double his original fundraising target of 100 within just 24 hours. Last night the total stood at 12,792.

However, with Jack having completed 120 drawings in the space of a few weeks, "a minority" of those who have supported his appeal have been accused of sending "insensitive" messages to the family.

The couple were being inundated with messages of support last night after revealing how upset they were on Jack's Facebook and Twitter sites.

Noah, who is 23 months old, receives regular treatment at the Sick Kids Hospital for a lung condition called bronchiolitis.

A statement posted on Jack's website yesterday said: "We apologise for repeating ourselves but we have been left with no choice after being continually asked (in some cases, hassled) by people asking where their picture is.

"They 'ordered' it weeks ago. The very use of the word 'order' implies some sort of business transaction. We are talking about a six-year-old boy and a charity appeal that went a little bit viral.

"Can we please remind everyone that Jack is only six. We are all trying our hardest to manage this wonderful situation, but we have our normal lives going on, and with a very sick little boy who was again in hospital last week we can only do so much.

"Continually hassling us, asking where your picture is, will not get us to do it quicker, and in all honesty is very, very disappointing."

Mr Henderson told The Scotsman: "Some people have been treating us a bit like a website like Amazon and asking where their order is.

"At the very beginning we had hope to send out the drawings within two or three days, but that's just not been possible due to the number of requests we've had from all over the world."

One supporter, Claire Bradbury, wrote on Jack's Facebook page: "Poor Jack and poor family. I'm happy make a donation without a picture. His little fingers must be worn down to the bone, and if it all gets too much everyone will just have to wait for their wonderful drawings."

Another supporter, Andy Overton, said: "Unfortunately there are always awful people in the world. Jack is a star. Let him stay that way. Ignore them."

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