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Meet Sandra aka Duck Lady!

Sandra for Eve

Hi, I’m Sandra,

In 2015 a cousin who would become one of the first Blue Light Babies Blokes told me about a new Facebook Group for crafters that had been set up by his colleague, Jo Owen. I joined straight away and was the 8th person to sign up. We now have over 6,000 members.

Our first project was making hats and blankets to be used with babies born on the way to hospital. Hence the name Blue Light Babies.

Chemo Ducks first came into my life when the group was asked by The Great North Children’s Hospital (the RVI to those of us in the North East) if we could make outfits for Chemo Ducks. They explained the ducks were given to children diagnosed with cancer and acted as a comforting friend and also as a teaching aid to help them understand their treatment. They felt outfits would appeal to children and give them something to look forward to when visiting hospital.

I was on board immediately. Before I retired I worked in education. As a teacher and Head Teacher young children had been my life for over 40 years. This project spoke to my heart. I wanted to be a part of anything that was going to help children and their families cope with this devastating illness.

I hadn’t seen a Chemo Duck but, armed with measurements and a tape measure, I bought a teddy and a toy penguin. Between them they helped me adapt patterns and knit outfits of the correct size. Like everyone in Blue Light Babies I knitted love in every stitch.

When Cath, my predecessor, was very ill I volunteered to take over the responsibilities of checking the outfits were the right size, fit well, were finished off safely, packing them in cellophane bags and then into boxes for sending to the RVI.

I loved every minute of these tasks. In my teens I was a Saturday girl in a toyshop. I worked on the doll counter unpacking teddies, Barbies, Tiny Tears, Action Man and more. It was like Christmas every week! Sorting through the outfits from our amazing members gave me the same feeling. When Cath was well enough she resumed her role and I went back to knitting outfits.

In 2020 Eve, from the Give a Duck Foundation, approached Jo to see if Blue Light Babies could supply them with outfits. This was HUGE! We would need many more outfits and our work would reach children across the UK. By this time we had a collection of patterns written specifically for the ducks by some of our very talented members. Superheroes, TV and video characters, mermaids, princesses and more were born.

When Cath retired I was proud and honoured to be asked to be the new Duck Lady and join the Blue Light Babies admin team. Checking and packing moved from the Duck Pond (Cath’s house) to Swan Lake, Home of Exclusive Duck Haute Couture (my spare bedroom).

At this point I was given my very own Chemo Duck. I called him Tryton as he tried on all the outfits. He is an original Gabe’s Chemo Duck. Later Fitzwilliam joined us. He is a newer duck with a slightly larger head and thicker neck. If an outfit fits Fitzwilliam it will fit all ducks.

Working with the ducks and outfits speaks to my inner child. When parcels arrive I am six years old again, so excited to see what is in them and to try them on Fitzwilliam. I am also humbled by the incredible numbers of beautiful outfits I receive from members from all over the country. Since our partnership with The Give a Duck Foundation, Blue Light Babies has donated almost 8,000 individual outfits as well as over 200 corporate items.

The Chemo Ducks have brought so much joy into my life. The outfits keep me busy, they give me a purpose, they connect me to so many new friends and remind me we can all make a difference in the lives of children and their families.” – Sandra, aka Duck Lady at Blue Light Babies.


Thank you Sandra for continuing this very special role as Duck Lady at Blue Light Babies. We love opening your carefully packaged parcels at Give A Duck HQ! Your care and attention to every single outfit you pack is incredible. The parcel outfit breakdown sheet is so helpful and we just love reading your handwritten personal notes you send in every box. We would be lost without you.



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