Tropic Skin event raises £65
A massive thank you to Anne-Marie Hamilton for holding a Tropic Skin event in aid of our charity Dreamdrops.
£65 was raised from a raffle held on the night.
Pidley Christmas Fayre held in aid of Dreamdrops
The Fayre is taking place this Saturday (26th of November) at the Pidley Community Centre, Warboys Road, Pidley PE28 3DA.
The doors open at 10am and close at 4pm and there will be lots of stalls for you to visit including: Moira’s local honey, Avon, Usborne books, homemade soaps, crochet items, handmade crafts, local photography photos, wax melts, body sprays, diffusers and a raffle.
Refreshments will also be available, pop along for a day full of fun!
£250 raised towards Children’s Christmas party!
Thank you to Mrs Zena Luckham for her amazing donation of £250!!
The donation will be put towards our Children’s Community Gifts and Party, making the event even more special!
£109.02 raised for Dreamdrops by the Huntingdonshire Philharmonic
The Huntingdonshire Philharmonic recently performed at the Performing Arts Centre at Hinchingbrooke School.
Dreamdrops attended the concert where they help to sell programs and make a collection after the performance. An amazing £109.02 was generously given by those attending the event. A huge thank you to everyone who donated!
The next date for your diaries is the 10th December when the Hunts Phil will host their Choral and Orchestral Concert with the Hinchingbrooke School Orchestra.
The program includes:
- Joint Christmas Concert 2022
- Kenneth Woods – The Ugly Duckling (2015)
- R. Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on Greensleeves in F minor (1934)
- Errolyn Wallen – Peace on Earth and
- a selection of Christmas pieces and carols.
To book a ticket you can visit the Hunts Phil web site at: https://www.huntsphil.org.uk/season-2022-2023/ – ticket offers, if booked before 26th November, include a free child ticket with an adult ticket.
This is a wonderful occasion, beautiful music and a great start to the Christmas season!
Our second Just Giving Tree is located at Tesco Extra,
Abbots Ripton Road, Huntingdon
If you can, please donate any new children’s toys bought in-store and place into the trolley next to the tree.
Gifts will be given to children who are continuing their medical treatment at home.
Debra from the Community Team at Tesco said: “Dreamdrops is a great charity, and we are always pleased to support the local community.”
We are so grateful to everyone involved in our Just Giving Tree’s this year, the gifts will make Christmas extra special for local children.
Tesco’s campaign is running from Wednesday 16th November through to Wednesday 30th November, and you can find out more information in store.
Christmas Toy Donation
The toys will be delivered to children attending our children’s services at The Oak Tree Centre, Huntingdon and children staying on Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital over Christmas.
These will place a smile on all of their faces – thank you!
Fantastic baby clothes to keep local children warm this winter
The knitted jumpers, cardigans, hats, scarfs and mittens will be used to support children in the community with the very small ones going to the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital for the premature babies.
Penny and Ann always make wonderful clothes for the children we look after, and being hand made these are just that little bit extra special, especially at this cold time of the year!
Thank you, ladies for all that you do!
Dunelm, Huntingdon, Christmas Giving Tree
All you need to do is visit the store, take a tag from the tree, each tag is age related, buy a gift of your choice, and take it back to the store unwrapped.
This year we are supporting children in the community with life limiting illnesses, children with hidden disabilities such as Autism, children discharged from hospital to continue their long-term treatment at home and their siblings.
Dreamdrops recognises that for a lot of family’s times will be tough this year, but we would be really grateful if you can once again help us to support even more vulnerable children.
The campaign is running until the 10th of December, and you can find out more information in store.
Local couple raise over £2,000 for Dreamdrops by running the London Marathon
Alice said: “Thousands of people took part in the London Marathon, and it was incredibly hard, much harder than I thought it would be, but both Matthew and I got round and received our medals at the finish line.
“It took us 4 hours and 50 minutes, longer than we wanted but it gives us a good starting point to beat for the next one!
“The atmosphere was incredible, with everyone being very supportive at every point in the race. It was great to be able to represent and raise money for Dreamdrops.”
Alice and her twin, Robert, were born two months premature in November 1990. The teams in the Special Care Baby Unit and Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital provided excellent care at a very scary time and ensured the whole family were supported.
Christine Luckham, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “Huge congratulations to Alice and Matthew on such an amazing achievement. Thank you so much for raising money for Dreamdrops it is through the passion and commitment of local people like yourselves, that the charity goes from strength to strength, and we can support so many sick children and their families.
“Dreamdrops are in the middle of supporting the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which is undergoing refurbishment, so the money raised will be put towards fulfilling their Wish List.”
If you would like to help Alice, you can donate via her Just Giving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alice-brodie.
Huntingdonshire Philharmonic – £37.52 raised at choral evening
Special guests were sopranos April Fredrick and Karen Wise.
A collection was made at the end of the evening by Dreamdrops, raising £37.52.
Thank you to all who donated, it was a lovely evening.
Dreamdrops Children’s Charity appoints new Chairman
Huntingdonshire Children’s Charity, known locally as Dreamdrops, has a new Chairman.
Christine Luckham, a long-serving member of the Dreamdrops committee, is already well-known to many local families who are members of The Collins Club, a support group set up by Dreamdrops for families with autistic children and children with hidden disabilities, as she has been the ‘link’ between them and the charity for several years.
Chris is also well-remembered and highly regarded by many families whose children have been nursed on Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital where Chris was the Ward Manager from 2005. She was greatly involved in the design of the new Children’s Unit which opened on the hospital site in 2007 and sat as an NHS paediatric adviser on the Dreamdrops committee until her retirement.
As soon as the committee found out that she was retiring, Chris was immediately invited to join Dreamdrops as a full committee member and has worked tirelessly for the charity and the children that Dreamdrops supports, ever since.
Retiring Chairman, Anne-Marie Hamilton said, “I am delighted to be leaving Dreamdrops in such capable hands. Chris has been very influential regarding the direction in which Dreamdrops has been developing and growing over the last few years, and I know that with the amazing support of our excellent committee, the charity will thrive and grow further under Chris’s care. I wish her and everyone at Dreamdrops continuing success in the future.”
Chris said: “I am honored to have been elected as Chairman of Dreamdrops taking over from Anne-Marie.
“We held a surprise retirement party for Anne-Marie, who has been the driving force behind Dreamdrops championing the projects at Hinchingbrooke Hospital from supporting the new children’s unit to the refurbishments of SCBU with new facilities for parents and staff.
“Dreamdrops are also involved in the makeover for the new children’s emergency department with child friendly wall art soon to be started.
“Thank you, Anne-Marie, for all the support and guidance over the years, all of the committee will miss you greatly.”
We wish Anne-Marie every success in her future endeavours and a huge welcome to Chris as the charity’s new chairman.
National Citizen Service teenagers choose Dreamdrops as their charity of choice and raised £214.29 for local children
These events are an opportunity for organisations to share with the NCS participants what the charity is about and how young people can get involved in the local community and this can help as part of their social action project.
Joy Njoroge, Delivery Programme Coordinator (East Anglia and West Midlands) said: “We would like to thank your organisation for attending and introducing yourselves to the young people in the community marketplace session. They really enjoyed this experience of getting to know the needs of their local community and how they can support the local organisations within it.
“Most importantly, they have gained a lot of knowledge about your organisation and how you contribute towards their local community.
“We would also like to thank you again for volunteering your time to attend the pitch panel session. Your feedback has been very beneficial for the young people to guide them in creating impactful social action projects to support their local community.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman for Dreamdrops said: “Thank you for choosing Dreamdrops as your charity of choice for your Social Impact Project, but also for raising £214.29 for us with a Cake Bake, selling your cakes in Hinchingbrooke Country Park. This is an amazing sum of money. We are thrilled to bits, thank you so much!
“The money raised will be split between the Mental Health Room in the Paediatric Emergency Department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, and the Special Care Baby Unit. Both departments are currently undergoing refurbishment, and I know that they will be absolutely delighted that you wish to support them. This will make the experience of the children and families who use each department a little easier, at what can often be an incredibly stressful time for them.
“Thank you so much for your kindness in supporting local sick children and their families. We really are extremely grateful to you all.”
- Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops at the NCS talk at Huntingdon Regional College
- The Dreamdrops stall.
Sarah Hughes, former Modern Matron for Acute Children’s services presented with Dreamdrop’s first individual Community Award
Dreamdrops were delighted to present their First Individual Community Award to Sarah Hughes, former Modern Matron for Acute Children’s Services at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon.
This Award recognises individuals, families and organisations who go ‘above and beyond’ in either helping to raise funds for ‘Dreamdrops’ or providing exceptional support to the charity.
Sarah was presented with the award in recognition of her exceptional work on behalf of the charity over many years. She represented the clinical staff on the committee from its inception in 2005 providing advice, recommendations, and guidance on what was really needed to improve the experience of being treated in hospital for the young patients in her care and their families at what is often an incredibly stressful time.
Having worked across all Children’s Services in the hospital, she had an unsurpassed knowledge and overview of every area in her care – whether it was Holly Children’s Ward, the Special Care Baby Unit or the services associated with Children’s Outpatients.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “Sarah’s knowledge of what was really needed to improve the experience of being in hospital for the children in her care, was outstanding. She would research new pieces of equipment that were not provided by the NHS, but which could make life so much better for the children (such as the Transcutaneous Bilirubinometer, which is used if there is a concern regarding jaundice in a new-born baby. The Transcutaneous Bilirubinometer is held against the baby’s skin and if the reading is below a certain level, then a heel prick test is not required. This prevents undue distress for the new mother, as well as the baby).
“She would arrive with a full business case immaculately prepared, put her request eloquently, and invariably convinced the committee that her request was excellent value for money and should therefore be approved. Sarah was always willing to meet our donors whenever she could and would make time to explain to them about how and where their money had been spent to benefit the children. She was also a great supporter of Dreamdrops fund-raising events and indeed, she and her team won our Annual Quiz two years in succession!
“The Dreamdrops Committee benefitted tremendously from Sarah’s knowledge and advice over many years, and greatly enjoyed her irrepressible sense of humour, which enlivened many meetings! It was felt that the massive contribution that she made to improving Children’s services through Dreamdrops deserved our grateful thanks and formal acknowledgement, and the whole committee felt that she was a very worthy recipient of our first individual Dreamdrops Award.”
Sarah said: “Since the Dreamdrops committee was formed, when we first started planning to build the Children’s Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, everyone has worked tirelessly and with great enthusiasm to improve the facilities for babies, children, and young people in Huntingdonshire. Their initial focus being Holly Ward and the Special Care Baby Unit and more recently children and families within other areas of Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the wider community.
“They have also contributed to staff facilities and wellbeing, helping us to deliver the best care to families. This even continued through the pandemic. It has been an absolute privilege to work alongside them over the years. I would like to thank each and every one of them, past and present, for their hard work, motivation, and wonderful contributions.
“I was amazed and honoured to receive this award, which is a reflection of the hard work and incredible dedication of the whole Dreamdrops team.”
Bill Boles Adventure Day held at Hamerton Zoo
For several of the families, the opportunity to come out as a whole family is rare because of the medical needs of some of the children. The Adventure Day is specially designed for siblings of children with additional needs, as they often miss out on things in life because their brother or sister is unwell. A venue is chosen that everyone can enjoy, not only the child who is unwell, but the whole family.
This year we had a total of 7 families, of which 17 were children, plus additional help from Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s staff, some of their family members, as well as Dreamdrops committee members. In addition, we were delighted to welcome two very special guests who, through a very generous donation to Dreamdrops, had very kindly sponsored the day out for us all.
The weather was perfect, and most of the animals were out and about, eager to show themselves off to visitors although, for some of us, the brown bears remained a bit elusive until nearly lunchtime.
Everyone enjoyed a big picnic lunch together, and then some of the children went off to enjoy themselves in the playground, whilst others opted for another walk around the animals.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “We all had a wonderful time. Hamerton Zoo was the perfect venue, and it was fun to watch not only the children enjoying their visit, but their parents too. Each family was supported by having a committee member on hand to help, if needed, and the committee members thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to spend time with the families, too.”
At the end of the visit, each child was given a little memento of the Zoo visit by Dreamdrops.
The Barley Mow Open Charity Golf Day raises £734.20 for Dreamdrops
The Barley Mow (St Neots) Open Charity Golf Competition has celebrated its 30th year and raised £734.20 for Dreamdrops.
The competition was held at Wyboston Lakes Golf Course, and was run by Karen and Andy Walker, proprietors of the Barley Mow, St Neots, and their friend Tom McCormick, who organised the event.
The event saw 23 teams taking part, (83 golfers in total), and at the end of the competition, everyone went back to the Barley Mow for a BBQ, prize giving and an evening of music and entertainment.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “It was lovely to meet everyone, and I was amazed to learn that this was the 30th anniversary of the event and felt very honoured that Karen and Andy had chosen Dreamdrops to be their charity in this special year.
“Thank you very much indeed for your extremely generous donation to our charity. In total, you raised the magnificent sum of £734.20 for us, (including the cash donations and the collecting box) for which we are incredibly grateful. It really was amazing.
“Your donation will be put towards helping the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital by providing them with some of the ‘extras’ that they have requested for the Unit (which is currently being refurbished) that are not provided by NHS funds. This is all possible thanks to you and all your very generous golfers!”
New 3D Pain Distraction Unit installed at the Oak Tree Centre, Huntingdon courtesy of Dreamdrops
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “This wonderful donation was given to Dreamdrops by the Guy Charitable Foundation.
“Their donation was used to improve facilities in the waiting area at The Oak Tree Centre. Since Covid, waiting areas have changed considerably as they can no longer offer children lots of toys to play with whilst they wait. Instead, technology has come to our aid with this amazing 3D Unit which needs little cleaning, but offers the most wonderful entertainment and distraction, not only for the children, but their parents and carers, too.
“It looks amazing, I am sure that the patients who attend the Children’s Outpatient area from now on, will not want to leave! The 50” screen looks terrific, and the clarity of the pictures, even with the screen in place and no 3D glasses on, is excellent.
“I would love to be a ‘fly on the wall’ when the patients and their parents see what is now on offer whilst they wait for their appointments. It will help the children to relax and, as well as being highly entertaining, it will make the whole experience more fun for them.”
Sam Angliss, Admin Assistant, Children’s Services, said: “A huge thank you to Dreamdrops and The Guy Charitable Foundation. The unit will be used to help keep children calm before their appointments if they are anxious or just need some distraction while they wait. This is a fantastic addition to waiting area.”
Photo: Pravin Jethwa, Sales Director, Amazing Interactives Ltd and Samantha Angliss Clinical Administration Assistant, Children’s Community Specialist Nursing Service, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.
Dreamdrops were invited to lay a wreath in memory of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on behalf of the charity, by the Mayor of St Ives, Cllr Philip Pope
The wreath laying took place in a private meeting with The Mayor and the inscription on the wreath read “In loving memory of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Thank you for a lifetime of service. From Dreamdrops Children’s Charity”.
“We are incredibly grateful to The Mayor for inviting us to pay our respects and for taking the time to come and meet us on Sunday morning. He clearly had a very busy schedule on Sunday and Monday on behalf of the Town Council, so we felt particularly grateful to him for spending time with us.
Her Majesty’s devotion to public service has been an inspiration to us all. Rest in peace Your Majesty.”
Photo (from L to R): Dreamdrops Committee member, Pauline Rawlings, Cllr Philip Pope, the Mayor of St Ives and Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops Children’s Charity beside the wreath of white flowers from the charity.
Alice Brodie running the London Marathon in aid of Dreamdrops
Alice Brodie originally from Kimbolton, and her boyfriend, Matthew Alexander are running the London Marathon on Sunday 2nd October and Alice has chosen to fundraise for our charity Dreamdrops.
Alice said: “My twin, Robert, and I were born two months premature in November 1990. Without the teams in the Special Care Baby Unit and Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, we simply would not be here today.
“They not only provided excellent care but looked after our Mum on her daily visits in to see us. At a scary time, the team in the hospital ensured that we were all soon prospering. Their care ensured that we were able to lead healthy lives.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “Alice has raised an amazing £550 so far and we are over the moon that she has chosen Dreamdrops as her charity.
“We are in the middle of supporting the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which is undergoing refurbishment, so the money raised will be put towards fulfilling their Wish List.
“On their behalf, and on behalf of our charity, I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to Alice for her wonderful support.”
If you would like to help Alice on her way you can donate via her Just Giving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alice-brodie
Good Luck Alice, we hope you have a wonderful day!
Miniature Railway day out
A huge thank you to David Stapleton, Vice-Chairman and Adam Owen, Operations Manager at the St Neots Miniature Railway for the wonderful day out that they provided for the families that we support in The Collins Club.
Anne-Marie, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “Our families from the Collins Club had the most wonderful time and I have received some lovely feedback, telling me all about the visit. It was very clear that the day was a huge success, and not only did the parents and children hugely enjoy the miniature trains, but the volunteers, too!
“We are very grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make the day such a success. Finding something that the children can enjoy doing and feel safe, is quite a challenge sometimes, but their day out with you was perfect.
“We really cannot thank you all enough for the care that you took, and for giving them such a fantastic time. What an amazing and very special way for our families to finish their summer holidays! Thank you all very much indeed.”
Laptop Donation for local children
What a wonderful donation from our friends at Wiltshire Digital Drive who refurbish, recycle and re-distribute second hand laptops to members of the community who are suffering from digital poverty.
They have kindly donated twenty Chromebook laptops for local children we care for and some Ukrainian families who have moved to Huntingdon, so that they can keep in touch with the families and friends they have left behind.
These laptops will make a huge difference to the above families, and we are over the moon for their support – thank you!!
Thank you to the Rotary Club of Ely for their amazing donation!
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “The club kindly offered to help with this special donation, and we are thrilled to bits, we can never thank them enough for their kindness.
“We are delighted to say that the child has received his special buggy, and his life has completely turned around, as a result.”
“We are incredibly grateful to everyone at the Rotary Club of Ely for their support. Donations such as this make a huge difference to the families we care for.”
Celebration event for the Friends of Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Dreamdrops
A huge thank you to Philip Fearn Charitable Project Manager from North West Anglia Hospitals’ Charity for inviting members of the Dreamdrops committee to the thank you celebrations at the sensory garden, Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “It was lovely to meet the gardening team who have taken over the care of the former Dreamdrops Sensory Garden which has recently been refurbished.
“We thoroughly enjoyed the morning, and we were thrilled to be presented with such a lovely Certificate of Appreciation for our fundraising efforts over the years, supporting the Trust to improve patient experience and staff well-being. This means a great deal to all the members of the Dreamdrops Committee.
“What a wonderful Patron you have chosen for the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust. As he spoke, you could hear that Craig Revel Horwood really is passionate about supporting all that you do, and it is lovely that he has such a commitment to enriching the lives of local people at what can often be a challenging time when someone is unwell.
“I was also delighted to hear him acknowledge all the hard work of the staff, right across the Trust. Thank you so much for having us.”
What an absolutely fab-u-lous day!
Fun for all the family at this year’s Huntingdon Carnival!
Dreamdrops had a tombola stall on Saturday 13th August with lots of lovely prizes, cuddly toys, beautiful handmade cards, and decorations and were visited by lots of people, who between them raised a wonderful £122.70!
And a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered to support the charity on the day!
Stunning quilts and book cushions!
The quilts will have pride of place on the Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Zoe, Senior Play Leader said: “Thank you so much for the quilts. They are beautiful.”
The cushions will be used for Christmas gifts containing Christmas books for children on the ward this year.
Sue is always so generous to the children that we care for, and they all love both the quilts and book cushions that she donates, as well as the little bags in which several of them keep their treasures. Sue, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for your continued support, you truly are incredible.
Thank you to the Barley Mow, Hartford
Thank you to the Barley Mow in Hartford, for the incredible amount of money collected for our charity in the huge whiskey bottle and in the official Dreamdrops Collecting Box.
It took ages to count the money, but an amazing £154.07 was collected in total!
Dreamdrops is so grateful to you and all your customers for supporting us so generously.
Our wonderful Wendy wins Volunteer of the Year 2022!
Dreamdrops Committee Member, Wendy Baker, has won the “Volunteer of the Year” award at this year’s Hunts Forum Volunteer awards evening. The awards are to recognise the amazing achievements and contributions that volunteers make across Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire.
The event took place on Thursday 14th July 2022, where Wendy and her husband Paul, had been shortlisted (along with their friend, Marion Mulachy) for the Cambridgeshire Rural Volunteer of the Year Award, having been nominated by the Hail Weston Parish Council for the wonderful work that they are doing, supporting Ukrainian refugees who have arrived (and those who are just about to arrive) in Hail Weston, and getting the whole village behind this amazing project.
The competition from other nominated volunteer organisations across the whole of Cambridgeshire was extremely high, so we were thrilled when they received the Bronze Award – the first award of the evening.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “However, there was more to come! What Wendy did not know was that she had been short-listed for another award that night – this time, nominated by the Dreamdrops Children’s Charity for the “Volunteer of the Year” award for 2022 and I am immensely proud to say that Wendy was announced as the winner!
“Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM, HM Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, presented Wendy with a beautiful, engraved trophy and an incredibly special (and very unexpected) additional surprise because, thanks to her, Wendy and Paul are off to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party next year, as part of the award!
“Many, many congratulations, Wendy. We are so proud of you!”
Wendy said on receiving her award: “I very much appreciated the surprise nomination and gratefully received the award but this is not just for me, it is for the charity. It takes a whole team of volunteers, not any one individual, to achieve success. Every person on our committee is hard working and committed to helping and supporting the children and their families in the Huntingdonshire area. Hopefully, we do make a difference.”
But the celebrations did not end there as Committee Member, Christine Luckham, was also in attendance after winning the Cambridgeshire Rural Volunteer of the Year Award in 2020, having been nominated by Dreamdrops for her work with the Collins Club families. Due to Covid, the awards ceremony had to be cancelled that year, so this was her opportunity to meet the Hunts Forum organisers and celebrate, too.
What an amazing night for our wonderful, dedicated committee members, Wendy, and Chris, without whom we could not do all the amazing work we do for local families.
Beautiful handmade cards and wall decorations
Here are just a small sample of the most beautiful handmade cards and wall decorations that have been donated to Dreamdrops by Mrs Shalmar Kidman.
These will be used to raise funds by selling them on our Dreamdrops stall at the Huntingdon Carnival on Saturday 13th August 2022.
Please pop along and see these wonderful designs and also help our charity at the same time. We cannot thank Mrs Kidman enough for the time and effort she has placed into creating these pretty, individual cards.
Thank you to our amazing Coarse Fishing friends!
To John Clark and Ginnette Waters who taught the children how to coarse fish. It was a new, fun experience for them all and their families were amazed at how calming the fishing experience was for the children, it opened-up a new world for them to experience.
To Alex Bates, from Rookery Waters, who gave us exclusive use of Jackdaw Lake, the children were able to relax and enjoy their day out and felt safe. Some of the children find new situations and crowds stressful but at Jackdaw Lake, they were completely relaxed and had an amazing time. They were thrilled by the number and variety of fish they caught.
Thank you to Richard Frood who gave up his time to come and instruct some of the children on the art of coarse fishing. You made such a difference to their confidence, which was great to see, and the parents could see the new skills they were learning and watch them get immersed in the day.
Lastly, thank you to Richard and Phillipa Winser, for arranging this fabulous fishing experience for the children of The Collins Club. Everything was beautifully organised, as always, and because you had managed to obtain exclusive use of Jackdaw Lake, it made it a wonderful, safe experience for everyone. We noticed their confidence grow throughout the event and everyone had a fantastic time, children, parents, and volunteers, we are so grateful for all that you do!
Our days out for the Collins Club children would not be possible without the continued support of everyone above and our volunteers who come along to help at each event. THANK YOU!
Committee members obtain Mental Health First Aiders (level 2) qualification
Our Dreamdrops committee members have recently attended a Mental Health First Aiders (level 2) training course. Six members took the assessment in July and have now achieved a nationally recognised Level 2 qualification.
The course was run by Mike Izzard, from KH Training. Mike received great feedback from the course for being “such a good instructor,” and the members “having learned a huge amount.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “It was an excellent course, and everyone found it fascinating. We not only learnt what to look out for and how to determine whether someone was under severe stress or distress, but also what to do and, more importantly, what NOT to do!
“The training will enable committee members to support the local Collins Club and give them a better understanding of how to help the families they see, and confirmed their approach to listening to families, and ensuring that queries were being dealt with in the right way.
“A big thank you to Mike for taking the time to come and train our committee members. We all learnt a lot and feel that by putting our new knowledge to effective use, we will be able to offer better support if someone is in need.”
Fantastic performance by the Melodramatics Pantomime
We were delighted to raise £65.20 for Dreamdrops. We are currently fund-raising for the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, so this money will be put towards this very worthy cause.
Anne-Marie, Chairman of Dreamdrops and Committee Member Christine Luckham had great fun doing the raffle, but also had the added bonus of being able to attend the pantomime. Anne-Marie said: “It was absolutely brilliant. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and were still talking about it several days later. What a clever plot – to hide the villain of the peace (Rumplestiltskin) in full view, was fabulous. I think that we were both surprised when he turned out to be the Narrator in disguise! The quality of the acting and the beautiful singing was, as in the past, first-class, and it was a wonderful and memorable evening. Chris had not been to a Melodramatics Pantomime before, and she enjoyed every minute of it. We are both looking forward to next year’s production already!
“Thank you to everyone, once again, in the Melodramatics Pantomime Group for supporting Dreamdrops. It is incredibly kind of you, and we greatly appreciate it.”
“Fishing fun for all the Family!”
Sunday 10th July 2022 saw the second fishing event this year for the Dreamdrops Children’s Charity, who are part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Charitable Trust, again hosted by The Fly-Fishing Academy and their trusty fishing instructor gurus!
Richard and Phillipa Winser were ably assisted by; John Clark, Chair of the Hertfordshire MTSFC Fishing Charity, with their Schools Liaison Officer, Ginnette Waters and Richard Frood, of Bedfordshire MTSFC fame – what a line up!
Richard said: “Could we improve on our monumental success of the combined events so far?” There was only one way to find out… and with that they headed off to Rookery Waters!
Phillipa remarked: “Rookery Waters is a commercial coarse fishery at Pidley, Cambridgeshire; there are a number of lakes in the complex and we were incredibly grateful to Alex Bates, the owner, who allowed us to have exclusive use of Jackdaw Lake. This transpired to be the perfect gladiator arena for our second Dreamdrops fishing competition, glistening, and shimmering with coarse fish.”
This time the now ‘seasoned’ Collins Club anglers were joined by coarse fishing newcomers, Leonie, and Freddie. The last time that Leonie went fishing it was for Rainbow Trout and armed with a fly rod!
However, it did not take them long to grapple the fundamental principles of coarse fishing, and soon floats darted under the water surface, fish were brought to the bank and score sheets were marked to denote numbers and types of fish caught.
A phenomenal 145 fish were caught between five anglers, which included seven different species!
After lunch came the challenge; Christine Luckham from the Dreamdrops committee and Richard Winser versus everyone else, for the fastest fish caught.
Jack was lightening quick off the mark and landed a fish soon after the count down to start, followed shortly by Richard. Amiee and Leonie were not far behind and then Christine brought a common carp to the bank, taking the grand total to an amazing 147!
Carys, Freddie’s mum said: “Thank you so much for a brilliant day. We really appreciate all the volunteers for giving our children such wonderful opportunities.”
Tina, Leonie’s mum added: “We had an amazing day, thank you to everyone who helped and organised the day, Leonie caught 50 fish in total and 7 different species!”
Helen, Aimee’s mum said: “Her face says it all.”
Christine Luckham, Dreamdrops Committee member, said: “Another brilliant, relaxed, and fun afternoon for all involved. This time we saw some real changes in the children; they were more relaxed and trusting. The parents had the opportunity to enjoy the fishing, sun and picnic – a wonderful day!”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the Dreamdrops said: “Our first Coarse fishing event of the year was a huge success with children from the Collins Club and their families. We had such a wonderful day that we decided to hold a second event so that more local families to be involved and spend a day learning how to fish.
“It was a brilliant, sunny day, and everyone caught a fish! A big Thank You to Richard, Phillipa and the team who made this event possible. The children had a terrific time, and all of them showed real skill in what for two of them was a totally new experience. Freddie stole the show by catching the biggest fish of the day, soon after he arrived.
“These events would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers, Christine Luckham and Pauline Rawlings, who were on hand to help, and our lovely Collins Club families who came along. The smiles on everyone’s faces made it an extra special day! We cannot wait for our next adventure!”
- Jack and Phillipa
- Freddie and Richard concentrating extremely hard!
- Aimee, Dad Steve, and John
- Christine Luckham has ‘beginners’ luck’ in her first attempt at coarse fishing
- First time angler Freddie and Richard
- Picnic lunch enjoyed by all
Outstanding performance by the Huntingdonshire Philharmonic
Pauline Rawlings, Dreamdrops Committee Member said: “It was truly wonderful, Grieg’s Piano Concerto WOW; with a Solo Pianist, and then after the interval the Choir entertained us.
“We would like to thank the Hunts Phil, for having Dreamdrops as their ongoing Charity of choice, and for allowing us to ‘shake’ a bucket after the performance to collect coins and notes towards our charity, we raised a fantastic £74.39!
“Every collection, however, small or large is always received with thanks.”
Thank you to Clover Office Supplies
Thank you to Clover Office Supplies, based in St Neots, for being a collection point for us, for used Ink Cartridges, which we recycle with Think- Inks UK to raise money for Dreamdrops.
Do you have any inkjet cartridges you would like to donate?
To find out more about this great initiative please visit: https://dreamdropschildrenscharity.org/events/
Dreamdrops has received a wonderful cheque presentation from
Cllr Karl Webb, former Mayor of Huntingdon
A huge Thank You to Cllr Karl Webb, the former Mayor of Huntingdon, who presented a cheque for £2,445.02 to Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops, at the Council Annual Meeting.
Dreamdrops was Cllr Webb’s chosen charity for the 20 months during his time as Mayor of Huntingdon Town Council. Anne-Marie said: “It was a tremendous surprise to receive such a wonderful donation. Cllr Webb has been incredibly generous with his time throughout his period of office, and we have appreciated that enormously.
“We felt incredibly fortunate to have Cllr Webb’s support at the events that we were able to put on, even though they, too, had to be limited in what could be undertaken to comply with all the Covid restrictions.
“Whether it was supporting children with autism and their families at fishing events, coming to help Santa hand out Christmas gifts to children with life-limiting illnesses and their siblings on cold, December nights, or helping at presentations, he has always been there to support us, and this has helped tremendously to raise the profile of our charity locally.
“The parents of the children that we care for, could not believe that he had come specially to meet them and their children. His presence has been a real highlight for many of them who have felt so isolated over the years as they continued to struggle with all the difficulties that their children face daily.
“Once again, a huge thank you to Cllr Webb for choosing Dreamdrops as his Mayoral charity during his term of office. We all felt very honoured to be chosen, and to have had the privilege of working with him over the last twenty months.”
Cllr Karl Webb added: “During my time as Mayor of Huntingdon, I was so proud to work with my friends on the Dreamdrops committee and with the families and children that Dreamdrops have supported over many years.
“Due to the pandemic and restrictions in force, I was not able to hold as many fundraising events as I would have liked, but where restrictions did allow, I joined the Dreamdrops supporters at physical events such as fishing days and the private meetings with Santa for children who did not want to be in a crowd. I love how Dreamdrops goes above and beyond to make the children feel comfortable and safe around so many caring people.
“My thanks go to all at Dreamdrops for inviting me into their fold. I have always supported this charity and will continue to do so in the future, regardless of my role on the Town Council.”
Generous donation of £500 will help local children
A cheque for £500 was presented to Dreamdrops by Mr Stanton Lewis, on behalf of the staff at the Fenland Crematorium.
Staff offered families the opportunity to remember their loved ones who had died during the last year, with a memorial star on a Christmas tree at the Crematorium. The money raised was by families donating for their star.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “Being able to remember someone in this way must have meant a lot to the families concerned, and we are extremely grateful to them for kindly supporting ‘Dreamdrops’ at the same time.”
“Dreamdrops are currently working on a joint project with Hinchingbrooke Hospital to make the new paediatric Emergency Department feel more child-friendly and this wonderful donation will go towards this project. The area will have a lot of wall-art depicting seaside underwater scenes to entertain the children, as well as some comfortable chairs for parents to sit on in the treatment cubicles, and some 3D pain distraction units put into place.
“On behalf of the ‘Dreamdrops’ committee, I would be very grateful if you would pass on our heartfelt thanks to everyone who raised this money to help our local sick children. Thank you.”
Dreamdrops helping to support local families
With the help of the committee, friends, and family of committee members the charity was able to donate items such as a cot, Moses’ basket, bath and baby clothes.
These wonderful donations will be a great help to mum and her new-born baby.
Local Collins Club children have a wonderful day Coarse Fishing!
Saturday 28th May 2022 saw the first fishing event this year for Dreamdrops Children’s Charity, who are part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Charitable Trust, hosted again under The Fly-Fishing Academy umbrella and by their familiar Instructors, who are almost becoming household names!
Richard and Philipa Winser were ably assisted by; John Clark, Chair of the Hertfordshire MTSFC Fishing Charity, with their Schools Liaison Officer, Ginnette Waters, and Alan Scothern, the Secretary of Abbots Ripton Angling Society. Finally, the line-up would not be complete without including Roger Adams, a seasoned all-round fishing veteran.
Richard said: “For this event we were using a new venue with the kind permission of Lord and Lady de Ramsey; Broadlands Lake, Abbotts Ripton which is operated by the Abbots Ripton Angling Society as one of their coarse fishing lakes. We are incredibly grateful for their support.
“This was a departure from fly fishing for trout, which we have previously undertaken with the Dreamdrops group, but it allowed us to introduce a light-hearted competition element, which was transparent, fair and with ABSOLUTELY no cheating whatsoever!”
Phillipa remarked: “With Richard as the arbiter, deciding the winners for each category, what could have possibly been fairer…?!”
Prizes were awarded for: the first fish caught, the most fish caught, the person who was the best at unpicking tangles (caused by an instructor) the most allusive fish, the most patient angler, and the cleverest fish (that evaded capture)!
Coarse fishing involves the use of bait and different methods, such as fishing with a float, so there were lots of new tactics to master.
The fish are carefully returned afterwards, so a great emphasis is placed on safe handling of them, the environment around them, and fish welfare.
Fishing instructor John Clark said “We were looking forward immensely to seeing six of our Dreamdrops anglers again, Aimee and I have fished together on each previous occasion. We were also excited to meet some new faces. For three participants, it was the first-time fishing with us. It was great to catch up.”
Aimee’s mum, Helen said: “Thank you for today, Aimee and Steve thoroughly enjoyed it all again, despite not catching a fish! Also thank you for the coin it is incredibly special. Thank you.”
Karen, Jack’s mum said: “This was Jack’s first-time fishing, and we had a lovely day. Jack enjoyed it, he caught two fish and it was very well organised.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the Dreamdrops said: “What an amazing start to the Summer with our first outdoor event of the year for the children from the Collins Club. We are extremely grateful to Lady de Ramsey and to the Abbots Ripton Angling Society for allowing the children to fish such a beautiful lake.
“The children had a wonderful time learning about coarse fishing, and they all had fun taking part in the competition, which was hotly contested. They enjoyed a picnic lunch, and the afternoon concluded with them being presented with their prizes, certificates, and rosettes. It was a most enjoyable day, and even the sun shone throughout!
“Well done to everyone who caught a fish, and a huge thank you to Richard, Phillipa and the team who made this a day to remember. Also, a big thank you, as always, to all our wonderful volunteers who helped on the day and to our lovely Collins Club families.
“We also presented a special Platinum Jubilee Commemorative coin to each child, marking The Queen’s 70 years on the throne, which made the weekend extra special!”
Photo collage comprising:
- Joshua Quinn with Wendy Baker, with his Platinum Jubilee Commemorative coin
- Jack Todd, first time fisher
- Aimee, dad Steve, middle: Instructor John, right: Ben and son Joshua
- Rose, Daisy, Wendy Baker, Shay, and Lily
- Elinor the dog with Daisy and Rose
- Shay Bell, first time fisher
- Aimee collecting her award
- Jack Todd and Wendy Baker, with his Platinum Jubilee Commemorative coin
Community Award presented to local company, idash!
Dreamdrops were delighted to present their first Community Award to idash Ltd.
This new award recognises individuals, families and organisations who go above and beyond in either helping to raise funds for ‘Dreamdrops’ or providing exceptional support to the charity, which can go a long way to relieving the stress of a child being nursed either in hospital or in the local community, at what can often be a difficult time for the whole family.
During the second Covid lockdown last year, ‘Dreamdrops’ decided to organise, what turned into a whole community project, to provide computers and tablets to school children across Huntingdonshire who were having to be “home schooled” during the pandemic but did not have access to I.T. equipment.
Working with local partners idash Ltd and Cambs-Pat UK Ltd, along with local community support groups across the market towns in Huntingdonshire, (Huntingdonshire Community Group, Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust, the Riverport Women’s Institute in St Ives, and St. Neots Community Support), the Rotary Club of Huntingdon (Youth Group), the Rotary Club of St Marys St Neots (President’s and Youth Funds), Argos and also supported by members of the public, who generously donated their used machines, together we were able to provide laptops and tablets to all the schools that urgently needed them.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “Whilst we are incredibly grateful to everyone who pulled together to make the project such a success, one company stood out, as not only did they provide the project with engineers working on it full time for three months, but they also salvaged spare parts from redundant machines that could not be updated and re-used them to repair and upgrade other machines, thus saving the whole project thousands of pounds. In addition, they freely provided technical help and expertise, and were constantly on hand to give support when needed.
“Their commitment to supporting local children with their schooling at such a difficult time for so many, was overwhelming, and this is what earned idash Ltd the first Dreamdrops Community Award.”
Mick Marks, Managing Director, idash said: “idash are very proud to receive the very first Dreamdrops Community Award. idash received the award in recognition of community service and supporting the Dreamdrops Children’s Charity.
“idash joined forces with Dreamdrops and took the 100’s of laptops and devices provided by the public and local businesses, carried out the relevant data protection actions, and refurbished the devices and made them usable again.
“This is a lovely surprise, and it is a fantastic feeling to receive the first of these awards.”
Two wonderful Easter Egg donations for local children
Dreamdrops has received two wonderful Easter egg donations for local children.
Jordan Mason, ‘Dreamdrops’ committee member and his mum, Sharon, from Don’t Panic Pizza, donated an amazing 48 Easter eggs for children who are being cared for in the community by the Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s Specialist Community Nursing team.
Jordan said: “Dreamdrops is a phenomenal local charity with an outstanding committee, an organisation that shows strong leadership and team work to deliver on the promise of making a real difference to the children and families who they support.
“Supporting people in times of need and hardship is something all of us at Don’t Panic care about deeply, which is why they are our charity of choice this year. A few easter eggs is the least we could do to show our support. We look forward to working closer with all at ‘Dreamdrops’ moving forward.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of ‘Dreamdrops’ said: “What a wonderful surprise for so many children to receive one of these lovely Easter eggs. Some of the children are not able to be out and about in the community due to their poor health, and this often means they miss out on many things in life that we can take for granted.
“To know that Jordan, his mum and everyone at Don’t Panic Pizza have thought of them will mean a huge amount to the children and their families.”
‘Dreamdrops’ also received a second donation of 27 Easter eggs from Tesco, Sapley, Huntingdon. Their kind donation will be passed to the children at The Collins Club.
Anne-Marie continued: “The second donation from Tesco will be passed to The Collins Club, a support group we provide to local families with autistic children. This will be a lovely gift for them to receive and we thank everyone at Tesco for thinking of them.
“For those children who are unable to have Easter eggs, ‘Dreamdrops’ has provided some fluffy easter bunnies and toys to make them smile.”
£500 donation from Waitrose, St Ives
The donation was supported by the Waitrose Community Matters Campaign as part of their Health and Wellbeing concept. After finding out about Dreamdrops they wanted to help support local children both in hospital and in the community.
Photo: Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops receiving the £500 donation from Joanne Mitton, Waitrose Community Champion.
Hunts Philharmonic held at Hinchingbrooke Performing
Arts Centre, Huntingdon
Another spectacular event, enjoyed by all.
Thank you to Christine Luckham, Sianade Bell and Pauline Rawlings for giving up their Saturday evening to help raise money for dreamdrops.
£82.91 raised by The Wednesday Group, St Neots
In February Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops gave a talk about the charity’s work to the ladies of The Wednesday Group, who meet in the Community Room at Hanover Court, Eaton Ford near St Neots.
They kindly donated a collection of £82.91 from that morning to dreamdrops, thank you ladies for your continued support.
Hunts Philharmonic Concert held at St Mary’s Church, Godmanchester
The concert was a huge success, and the Hunts Phil gave a wonderful performance!
The night raised £58.29 for the charity.
Epic rowing challenge raises money for local children
St Neots Rowing Club have raised an amazing £3,887 for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity, Dreamdrops!
The money was raised by members of the rowing club taking part in a 24-hour rowing challenge! This epic challenge was completed on indoor rowing machines by three teams. A team of six who rowed for 10 minutes on and 50 minutes off for 24 hours, a team of four who rowed 20 minutes on and 60 minutes off for 24 hours and a team of two who rowed 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 24 hours.
Jacqui Round, head coach at St Neots rowing club said: “We raised money for dreamdrops, as we wanted to support a local charity who may have been hit hard during Covid and also a charity who work with local children.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “Many congratulations to everyone who took part in the Rowing Marathon. It must have been incredibly hard to keep going at times – particularly in the small hours after midnight!
“I am not surprised that you all felt extremely sore and tired afterwards, as it is a tremendous feat. I hope that you all also felt a terrific sense of achievement too, as you certainly should, after such an amazing undertaking. The money raised will be used to provide specialist sensory equipment for the Paediatrics Emergency Department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
“We cannot thank you enough for doing this for ‘dreamdrops.’ When we saw how much you have managed to raise, we were absolutely stunned. It is truly wonderful!
Hail Weston Pre-School Donation
Sadly, Hail Weston Pre-School closed their doors during the pandemic, but they wanted to make sure that local children would benefit from their amazing donation.
The wonderful selection of items donated will hugely benefit local Children’s NHS services across Huntingdonshire. We cannot thank them enough for thinking of Dreamdrops!
HCRfm104 make Dreamdrops their charity of the month for February!
The interview will also be available via the internet, by visiting: www.hcrfm.co.uk and pressing the Listen Live button. After the broadcast, the programme can be heard by going to the website’s “Listen Again” facility and scrolling through to 11th Feb at 7pm.
This is wonderful news for the charity! You can also read all about the charity on their website here: https://www.hcrfm.co.uk/charity-of-the-month/hcrs-february-charity-of-the-month-is-dreamdrops/