A SHOTTON family is ‘overwhelmed’ as their local fundraiser turns global.

The Leader previously reported that ten-year-old Dylan Valentine wanted to do what he can to help Australia which is being ravaged by the worst wildfires seen in decades.

He is helping his mum Nicky to make koala pin badges to raise funds for the Australian firefighters and the Koala Hospital in Macquarie.

Dad Brian said they have received an overwhelmingly positive response and in 48 hours alone they received over 300 orders.

The current waiting list is six weeks and people are placing orders right across the UK, including the West Midlands.

He told the Leader: “It has been amazing, absolutely astounding. Nicky only does this part time and we’ve received a massive response.

“People are willing to wait weeks, it’s just absolutely fantastic. It’s overwhelming.

“Dylan has had messages from people in Australia saying thank you for his support. One woman is even sending him a kangaroo teddy as a thank you.”

Brian said that Dylan’s aim was to raise £100 by selling the koala badges in his school at £2.50, but it has now gone global.

He added: “He is quite level-headed about it. He knows a lot of people are talking about it and he’s reading the messages. He knows what he’s doing is a good thing.

“He’s really proud and thinks its brilliant but more importantly, he knows he’s helping people who are suffering.

“For a ten-year-old I think it will be overwhelming to see the response. He can’t believe it, it’s bonkers. We were not expecting a response as big as this.”

The family, who have friends in Australia, said Dylan is concerned for the safety of not just the animals but the residents and the firefighters.

He said: “He only wanted to raise £100, which is a lot of koala badges to sell anyway but he smashed that at the school.

“Something that was a local fundraiser has gone global. I think there’s an element of sadness there too because he knows there are people suffering and he wanted to help.

“The messages of support he has been getting is just amazing. We are all really proud of him and he is proud doing them.”

Anyone wishing to order a badge can contact Mum Nicky Valentine on Facebook or via her business Facebook Page: The Monkey Lady at Valentines Occasions.