Jake’s dream den springs up his back garden

Jake Fielden
Jake Fielden

A seven-year-old boy from Aylesbury had the surprise of his life when he got home from school one day.

Jake Fielden, who helps care for his two disabled brothers, discovered his dream den had been built in his back garden.

Jake Fielden with his den

Jake Fielden with his den

He is the winner of Papa John’s Design a Dream Den competition, in support of Save the Children’s Den Day campaign, and his prize was to have his own design built as a full size structure.

Jake’s den, which measures around three metres in diameter, is made up of a trampoline under which Papa John’s has kitted out all of his favourite things - a sweet shop, pool table, Xbox games console, music area and bean bag bed. On the outside, there’s a basketball net and a slide – making it the ultimate summer hideaway. Jake designed the den specifically for him to enjoy with his two brothers, and accessibility was a key factor as his brothers are disabled.

Ten-year-old Danny was born 17 weeks premature, resulting in brain damage, while Eric, four, has a rare chromosome abnormality.

Jake’s mum, Georgina, said: “Jake got the shock of his life when he came home from school to find his den design brought to life in the back garden. He absolutely loves it and what’s more it’s a place that he can enjoy with his two brothers, something that’s so important to him.

Jake Fielden

Jake Fielden

“Jake spends a lot of time caring for his brothers. He’s my right hand man. I’m so happy for him that he’s won this prize.”

Save the Children’s ‘Den Day’ is fun family fundraiser which invites the British public to unleash their imaginations and build their ultimate den and get creative for a good cause. By getting sponsored to spend a day or night in their den, families can raise money to help Save the Children build better lives for young people around the world.

The Design a Dream Den competition was supported by former skeleton racer and Olympic gold medallist, Amy Williams MBE, and Jamie Baulch, former 400m world indoor champion and Olympic 4x400m relay champion. The pair also posted special video messages of congratulations to Jake on their Twitter pages.

Amy’s message said: “This is a special message for Jake Fielden. Huge congratulations for winning the Papa John’s Den Day competition, in support of Save the Children. I love the idea of a den made from a trampoline, and to top it off it also doubles up as a sweet shop with a music area – it’s genius! I hope you and your brothers love playing in it.”

Vicky Fallon, head of fundraising campaigns at Save the Children, said: “Congratulations to Jake for winning the Papa John’s Dream Den competition. We love his creative design and it goes to show that children have fantastic imaginations. We hope that Jake and his family enjoy spending lots of time in their den!”

Andrew Gallagher, director of marketing for Papa John’s UK, added: “You can tell that Jake spent a lot of time on his design. That’s why it was really important for us to be as true to his design as possible.

“The den looks fantastic and I think Jake’s mum is going to have a tough time getting him and his brothers to leave it!”