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Lilo and Stitch, Stranger Things and sparkly unicorn poop… Weird and wonderful trainers designed by north-east children handed out

A group of deserving north-east youngsters are putting their new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right.

Dozens are stepping into the weekend in style after receiving a very special treat: their very own customised pair of trainers.

The idea came from designer footwear prodigy Cameron Robbie, who got in touch with children’s charity Charlie House to make it a reality.

The organisation helps kids with life-limiting conditions and the siblings who help look after their brothers and sisters.

Cameron Robbie showing off some of the trainers at Charlie House’s Carden Place base. Picture by Chris Sumner.

Charlie House trainers plan got tongues wagging

Volunteers got in touch with families earlier this year, and the creative children put their thinking caps on to create designs showing off their colourful personalities.

And some got very… avant-garde.

Juggling the charitable scheme with his trendy full-time job, Cameron spent months making sure they were just right. No matter how quirky the request.

Charlie House has now started distributing the finished products, with the designer on hand as the first boys and girls arrived to try them on.

Pika-shoes perfect for Pokemon fan

For Freddie Archibald, his one-off sneakers come emblazoned with his name in the distinctive Pokemon font.

What Freddie Archibald doesn’t know about Pokemon isn’t worth knowing.

They’re also adorned with red and white “Poke balls” and an image of Articuno, one of his favourite creatures from the hit Japanese cartoon series.

The seven-year-old from Daviot was one of the first to arrive at Charlie House’s Carden Place base in Aberdeen on Friday afternoon to get their shoes.

Little Brooklyn can’t wait to get new shoes home

Brooklyn Pattie, 11, travelled all the way from Elgin with her mum and dad to collect her pair.

Brooklyn Pattie shows off her snazzy new shoes. Picture by Chris Sumner

Unlike others, Brooklyn resisted the urge to tear the shoes from their protective cellophane wrappers.

She is going to display them in her bedroom, and her dad is even making a special cabinet for them.

Brooklyn’s mum Lorna Pattie explained that they were inspired by the Queen Bee character from LOL Surprise! dolls.

One youngster wanted a pair in honour of his favourite Dons player, Ross McCrorie.

She said the shoes would serve as a nice reminder of the time Charlie House got tickets for Brooklyn, who has complex learning disabilities, to see a LOL Surprise! show at P&J Live.

Lorna added: “She’s really excited to put them up in her bedroom.”

Brooklyn was a bit shy but told Cameron how thankful she was for the donation. Picture by Chris Sumner.

Normal shoes ‘not as cool’ as trendy trainers

The Penny family arrived from Inverurie to see how Cameron had brought their designs to life.

Motor enthusiast Brody got his shoes done up to match his dad’s Caterham Super 7 car.

And his nine-year-old sister Ayla came up with the design Cameron says he is most proud of.

Ayla lacing up her on her Stitch-themed sneakers. She was also wearing a Lilo and Stitch t-shirt for the occasion. Picture by Chris Sumner.

The nine-year-old Disney fan will now be the talk of the town as she shows off her Lilo and Stitch trainers.

The pair wasted little time trying them on, 12-year-old Brody tossing aside the pair he arrived in while acknowledging they’re “not as cool” as the bespoke upgrades.

When asked if he’s quite into cars, he replies: “Yes. Very.”

It felt like Christmas morning as the Charlie House team waited for the youngsters to start arriving to try on the shoes.

They won’t be wearing them to school, planning to keep them good for parties.

The treat was something of a reward for the pair, who help out looking after little brother Caleb, who has some serious health problems.

Mum Claire Penny said: “The children are very excited, they haven’t stopped talking about it.

“They have been following Cameron on Instagram and Tik Tok in case they can get a sneak peek of their trainers.”

A chuffed Brody tries on his new shoes for the first time. Picture by Chris Sumner

Sparkly poop emojis were one of Cameron’s stranger requests

Freddie’s mum, Linda Jo Archibald, collected trainers on behalf of his sister after he unboxed his Pokemon pair.

Little Allissa’s design was one of the most unusual; she wanted trainers featuring a unicorn and sparkly poop emojis.

When asked for an explanation, Linda Jo shrugged: “She thinks poops are hilarious.”

Linda Jo Archibald was looking forward to taking these home to her daughter. Freddie is in there somewhere.

But she added: “I really think this whole idea is amazing, these are one-off shoes. Nobody else will have these.

“Allissa wears splints but these will still fit her, it’s really special.”

What other trainers did Charlie House children dream up?

In total, Cameron made 32 pairs and they should all be handed out this weekend.

There’s also a spooky Stranger Things-themed pair, featuring the ominous Mind Flayer monster.

Check out some of the colourful creations: 

Stranger Trainers: This pair is inspired by the supernatural Netflix sensation
Harry Potter remains popular as ever with youngsters, and one north-east kid requested these Gryffindor shoes.
A closer look at the unicorn shoe, with glittery poop emojis adding a further dash of style.
These trainers look out of this world!

Trendy trainer guru on ‘special day’

Having worked on them for months, handing over the shoes was an emotional moment for Cameron.

The 23-year-old, who is from the Granite City but now lives in Edinburgh, found his skills pushed to the limit by the children’s imaginations.

I will always love shoes… Cameron with some of his best designs. Picture by Chris Sumner

The former Aberdeen Grammar School pupil has parlayed his passion into a successful career, ever since discovering his talents by making a birthday present for a friend.

And Cameron, whose Criatura business has gained an international following, will remember the day for a long time.

He said: “Seeing the reactions firsthand was amazing, I never usually get that when I make shoes for people.

“It was extra special.”

If you were able to create your own shoes as a youngster, what would they look like? Let us know in our comments section!

The boxes stacked up outside the charity’s new home.

Charlie House on why trainers donation is so special

Charlie House‘s children and family support manager, Leigh Ryrie, was surprised when she got the call offering up dozens of pairs of bespoke trainers.

And she explained just why the unique gifts mean so much.

Leigh said: “They are personalised, one-of-a-kind shoes…

“No one else in the world will have something these children have got, and that will give them a real sense of pride.

“It’s great to give families a treat like this every now and again to lift their day.

“They have all been through so much, especially during lockdown, they all missed out on so much.”

Sole mates: Ayla and Freddie join forces to show off their footwear.

Glancing at the pile of shoes before they were handed out, she added: “I can see those shoes, and I can see how they reflect the children’s personalities.

“Our families are amazing.”

Break out the bunting! Charlie House receives charity award from The Queen as Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin