A lovely painting drawn by Will Ely, a member of Charlton Athletic’s Down syndrome project, of his favourite pub has gone viral on social media and has been put on display at the pub.
Will, a long-standing member of Charlton Upbeats, said he painted the King William in Pembury in order to combat lockdown boredom and “because it makes me happy.”
The artwork has since been seen by over 20,000 people and has ended up on display inside the pub itself after owners Colin and Siobhan caught wind of the picture.
The owners said they were gifted the “wonderful piece of art” from Will, and felt the need to share it as widely as possible, and have also place the painting on display at the pub.
“Will drew the picture during Covid-19 lockdown, we didn’t ask him to, he just wanted to draw his favourite pub, which just shows what a thoughtful young man he is,” the owners said.
“Here at the King William in Pembury, we’ve been trying our best to support the NHS and be a hub for the community during the COVID-19 pub closures, but it’s not been easy.
“So when we found out our friend Will Ely had created this painting it really lifted our spirits and helped us to keep going.
“Will is a lovely young man and we know he is proud to be involved with the Charlton Upbeats, and he tells us about the great work CACT does in the community too.”
William said: “I drew the picture because it makes me happy. I felt a bit bored for a couple of days so I did a picture for the pub I like.
“I love the King Will because they are lovely and kind; also, they have a wonderful garden when it’s a nice day, and the bar staff are lovely.”
The Upbeats programme was formed in 2008 to provide regular activities and engagement and reduce isolation for young people and adults with Downs syndrome in south east London and Kent.
The project is entirely funded by donations, and last month over 200 Charlton fans took part in a socially distanced version of the yearly Upbeats Walk, raising over £27,000.