News 2012-2016

December 2016

Local dad to embark on 100 mile trek to raise money for Holly children’s ward

dreamdrops-jonathan-smith-and-sarah-hughes-dec-2016          dreamdrops-jonathan-smith-mount-snowdon-july-2016

Huntingdonshire resident, Jonathan Smith, plans to walk 100 miles from Hunstanton to Lowestoft in 2017 to raise money for the Holly children’s ward run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Jonathan explains:

“My son was taken very ill the summer before last. After two weeks of having an every day cold, followed by sinusitis, he woke up one day with his left eye so purple and swollen he could hardly open it. He was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with orbital cellulitis putting him at high risk of blood poisoning, losing his eye or hearing or, even worse, meningitis.  After two weeks of intensive drug treatment, he thankfully recovered.  Having spent every day and night by his side and feeling totally helpless, I decided to raise money to buy more toys, computers and iPads having seen how those already on Holly ward provided a welcome distraction,  enabling the kids to just be children again, irrespective of their illness or condition. Over two days in Summer 2017, I will be walking nearly 100 miles continuously, day and night, from Hunstanton to Lowestoft including along the Norfolk and England coastal paths.”

Fund raising for the children’s Holly ward is nothing new to Jonathan explains Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the Dreamdrops children’s charity:

“Jonathan is an inspiration. In 2016 he completed a 2 day sponsored training weekend including a night trek of Mount Snowdon, used to train those attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. With minimal sleep, he reached the summit at 4.30 a.m. on the second day.   How he did it, I’m not sure, particularly as he had been unable to train for six weeks prior to the climb due to a back injury.”

Jonathan added:

“I have seen how something as simple as a common cold can turn into something that nearly cost us dearly. My son’s illness and hospitalisation was so stressful, particularly as my wife was also heavily pregnant at the time, and I really cannot thank the doctors and nurses enough. Whilst the challenges I have faced have been daunting, raising funds is incredibly rewarding and I’d encourage others to do so; it doesn’t have to involve physical challenges, just donating whatever you can afford makes a difference.  I visited the ward recently and it was great to see how the money I have raised so far as been spent on toys and equipment and to hear how the funds I hope to raise with the coastal walk would be used.”

Sarah Hughes, Matron for acute children’s services said “Jonathan has not only raised over £700 himself, he has inspired others to do so. He persuaded Liverpool Football Club and the band UB40 to donate items for auction and Tesco’s coffee shop in Huntingdon raised £250 for us having been approached by Jonathan.   Everyone on the ward is very grateful to him and the toys and equipment he has funded are making a real difference to the children we care for during their time on the ward.  We wish him every success with his 100 mile trek!”

If you would like to donate to Jonathan’s fund-raising coastal walk visit:

July 2016


Pictures kindly provided by Ken Challenger

Family, friends and colleagues gather together to thank Viv, and help her to celebrate her retirement as ‘dreamdrops’ administrator

Family, friends and colleagues gather together to thank Viv, and help her to celebrate her retirement as ‘dreamdrops’ administrator


Viv Golding, Guest of Honour, cuts the ribbon to re-open the refurbished Outside Activity area in Outpatients at the Children’s Unit.

Some of the new wall plaques in the Outdoor Activity area, provided by Mr and Mrs Steve Cracknell

Some of the new wall plaques in the Outdoor Activity area, provided by Mr and Mrs Steve Cracknell

Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of ‘dreamdrops’, presents Viv with a cartoon on behalf of the Fund-Raising Committee

Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of ‘dreamdrops’, presented Viv with a cartoon on behalf of the Fund-Raising Committee



The Fundraising Committee are very grateful to the James Dyson Foundation who have provided three fans and one Pure Cool Link to use for Holly Ward and SCBU. More information about the work the James Dyson Foundation does can be found at

The Fundraising Committee would also like to acknowledge a £1,500 donation from the King of the Belgians Public House in Hartford raised at a fundraising weekend held at the Pub. This money has also gone towards purchasing some more Dyson fans and we would like to thank everyone involved for this donation.

March 2016


February 2016


Thanks to our supporters ‘dreamdrops’ has been able to purchase some new covers, cot canopies and nesting plaits for the incubators on SCBU. These are all made of soft but decorated materials and are designed to create more ‘womb like’ conditions for the premature babies. They are designed to muffle noise, protect the baby from light and cocoon them. As the baby gets more mature they then help the staff to acclimatise the baby to a more day and night routine.

cot-canopy1 cot-canopy2


Thanks to our supporters, children and their families involved with the Hospital enjoyed a wonderfully entertaining performance of Aladdin on Saturday afternoon put on by the Centre Players.

‘dreamdrops’ are grateful to the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle who made a contribution towards the purchase of the tickets.  Also a big thank you for the private donation from a member of the Club.

December 2015


Anne-Marie Hamilton visiting the school to collect the money the children raised.


‘A couple of weeks ago we held a scone sale and we had to choose a local charity and I put forward Dreamdrops.  This reason is that as a young child I spent a lot of time at Hinchingbrooke and I used the things provided by Dreamdrops such as the Thomas the Tank Engine train set, electronic connect 4, the TVs, colouring, outdoor play area and much more that you provide.  It provides a great distraction when you have to be in hospital.  Also I always enjoy the Christmas parties!  I am very proud to give £70 that we raised for you!’

This presentation speech was made by Joe who nominated ‘dreamdrops’ and presented the money that was raised by the members of Willow Class, Gt. Paxton Primary School, following a very successful Scone Sale.

(18th December 2015)



The Huntingdon Branch of the Halifax Building Society held an Xmas Treats Stall to raise money for Holly Ward.  Customers were tempted with Mince Pies, Sausage Rolls, Xmas Cakes and other treats which went down so well they carried it on over two days.


As part of a nationwide initiative local Usborne Organisers were offered the chance to add valuable reading resources through a partnership between local businesses and other community organisations and Usborne Books at Home and School, a respected children’s publishers.

Marie Gleed wrote to local businesses, friends and schools to invite them to make a small donation to buy a book or books for Holly Ward to increase their much loved book stock. Thanks to friends, The One Group, Bosch-Rexroth, Abcam and Pendragon Community Primary School Marie has raised a magnificent £740 to provide books for the children who use Holly Ward.


The picture shows Marie Gleed presenting some of the books to Liz Webb, the Play Leader on Holly, Karen Prestage, ‘dreamdrops’ fundraising committee member and Sarah Hughes, Matron for Acute Children’s Services. Liz and Sarah are delighted with such a wide range of books for all ages and thanked Marie for all she has done to achieve this.


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Thank you Katie Edmonds, Jenny Didcoll, Wendy Fell and Michael Lee from  the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society who helped dreamdrops fundraising committee members give a Winter Tidy up and planting to make the garden spick and span for the Christmas Tree to be switched on in time for the children’s Christmas Party.

October 2015


dreamdrops pumpkin


Jon Pinder, Business Director of Winglands Foods presented a cheque for £4,500 to Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of “dreamdrops” fundraising committee and Tracy James, Neo-natal Manager on SCBU along with a ‘giant’ pumpkin which had been carved by Shannon Watkins and Kim Griffiths. Employees at Wingland Foods voted for dreamdrops as their chosen charity for 2015 after Rob Stevens who is a Produce Manager put the charity forward. Rob’s daughter Alice spent seven weeks on the ward before losing her fight for life. The money was raised through a charity golf day, cake bakes and raffles and they will continue to raise money for “dreamdrops” until the end of the year.



In the beginning …


Up with the roof


Sealing the roof


Mass Mastantuono (director of Beaver Sheds Ltd) handing over the keys to Liz


Liz Sloman, the Play Leader opening the door on the completed Wendy House


A Job Well Done
Mass Mastantuono, Dean Peat and Damian Klimczak.





Great Eastern run half marathon raising money for SCBU

Josh Wicks and Luke Thomas ran the Great Eastern Run Half Marathon to raise over £500 for the Special Care Baby Unit.   

Luke is pictured holding Archie who spent 5 days in the unit as he was born with pneumonia. This is their way of saying thankyou to the fantastic staff on SCBU.

NATIONAL CITIZEN SERVICE raising awareness of the work Holly Ward carries out

A group of youngsters completing their National Citizen Service released more than 50 balloons in an array of colours from the hospital’s sensory garden.  The project started after the group aged from 16-24 decided that they wanted to raise money for Holly Ward and dreamdrops charity which helps raise money for the ward.  The young fundraisers took their message to Holly Ward to get the nurses and children involved.  The children on the ward were asked to sign a tag that went onto the balloons before they were released.  The group hopes that the balloons and tags will now inspire people to donate to dreamdrops .

August 2015

As part of a nationwide initiative Marie Gleed, Indpendent Usborne Organiser, is continuing the Community Pledge and is asking local businesses to give a donation towards books for Holly Ward to increase their much loved stock.  Please contact Marie on if you would like to be involved.  Marie has already raised £600.

July 2015


All riders and Alices parents

When baby Alice was diagnosed with a serious genetic condition that claimed her life, “the world stopped” for her parents Rob and Zoe. The Special Care Baby Unit in Hinchingbrooke Hospital became their home over the next few weeks. Seven weeks and two days later Alice lost her fight for life. She was taken to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) where the staff “took care of everything” for her final journey. Rob and Zoe said that the compassion and care of the staff at SCBU md EACH made their nightmare days bearable and decided to raise funds for the hospice and dreamdrops .

With the help of their supportive family and friends they organised a ‘ride for Alice’ which took place on Saturday 11th July. Rob and 11 friends cycled 120 miles starting at EACH Norwich visiting hospices in Ipswich and Cambridge before finishing at Hinchingbrooke. To date they have raised £7,000 which will be shared between the two charities.

Pictures of the riders and more details of the fundraising activities can be found on

March 2015


Presentation of sats machine to dreamdrops charity by the RAF Wyton Charities Fund

Private Kirsty Mee, a chef from 42 Engineer (Geographic) and Warrant Officer Don MacLarty, Station Community Officer from RAF Wyton handing over the portable saturation monitors to Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of ‘dreamdrops’ and Rachel Worbey, Children’s Continuing Care Junior Sister.

The money raised by RAF Wyton Station Charities Fund Committee was used to purchase two portable saturation monitors which allows 24 hour surveillance of blood level oxygen levels in the home and prevents children having to go into hospital. The monitors also mean that children and babies are able to be discharged from hospital earlier where the nursing staff can support them in their own home environment.

The money was raised through a Charity Christmas Cake Competition, organised by Private Kirsty Mee. A total of 15 cakes were entered into the competition, and the subsequent charity auction was overseen by Major Steve Cross.

November 2014


A huge thankyou to the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle who kindly offered to buy the mini mobile 3D Interactive Pain Distraction Unit, a world first, which was designed to fit into a suitcase by Amazing Interactives, a company that specialises in 3D film and computer programming.  Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the ‘dreamdrops’ fundraising committee approached the company 18 months ago to see if it was possible for them to design a mobile unit for use in the local community.   A lot of time and effort has been put into the whole project, not only by the NHS and Amazing Interactives, but also with help and guidance from Tony Moss, a computer expert from the Rotary Club as well as other members of the club. The machine will revolutionise children’s treatment and is causing real interest in other areas of the NHS, with one London hospital already interested in purchasing a unit.

Caption TBC

Photograph shows Pravin Jethwa, Sales Director, Amazing Interactives, Liz Sloman, Play Specialist, CCS NHS Trust, Members of the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle and Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of ‘dreamdrops’ fundraising committee.

September 2014


Micky and Minnie enjoying the fun to raise money for dreamdrops on 6th September 2014.  Thanks to Emma’s Fundraising and Sam Hazell, Organisers of the event who raised a grand total of £961.39 for dreamdrops.

Mickey and Minnie

Mickey and Minnie

July 2014

Kimbolton Country Fair 

Anne-Marie Hamilton, the Chairman of the Fundraising Committee attended the fayre, which is run jointly by the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle and the Sporting Bears, to promote the charity.

July 2014

Summertime Special

Fundraising Committee members attended a Hog Roast Supper and full card “Race Meeting” organised by the Rotary Club of Huntingdon which  raise £1,000 for the Special Care Baby Unit.

June 2014

Bromswold Bike Fest

230 cyclists of all ages and cycling ability went to Leighton Bromswold to pedal for charity and helped to raise a fantastic £4614 for three charities (Macmillan Cancer Support, Special Needs School, St. Neots and dreamdrops).  Everyone really enjoyed the day and there was a wonderful atmosphere achieving great success for the organisers who held a cycling event that would appeal to all ages whilst raising money for charities.

31 August 2013


Karen Prestage and Isabelle Dickens working on the stand to promote dreamdrops
(Picture: Chloe Dickens)

The dreamdrops team had a very happy day promoting the charity at St Neots Summer Festival which was organised on Saturday 31 August jointly by the Rotary Club of St Neots St Marys and St Neots Town Council.  The main feature of the day was Dragon Boat Racing on the River Ouse which drew a large crowd from the St Neots area and proved very popular on this beautiful riverside location.

July 2013

Stuart Silby, past president of the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle presenting Mags Hirst, Play Specialist for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and Anne-Marie Hamilton, Dreamdrops Chairman with a cheque for more than £1,100 for toys for children with special care needs

Stuart Silby, past president of the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle presenting Mags Hirst, Play Specialist for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and Anne-Marie Hamilton, Dreamdrops Chairman with a cheque for more than £1,100 for toys for children with special care needs

Stuart Silby, past president of the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle presenting Mags Hirst, Play Specialist for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and Anne-Marie Hamilton, Dreamdrops Chairman with a cheque for more than £1,100 for toys for children with special care needs.  All of the toys use some or all of the children’s senses, such as a toy containing lavender where the calming properties can be used to help relax agitated children.  Also purchased was a laser sky projector which can calm and relax children by providing soothing stimulation – young children often fall asleep whilst it is working.  Anne-Marie said, “we are delighted to have received this cheque from the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle.  The toys purchased will make a significant difference and give great pleasure to the children and families who use the children’s continuing care team in Huntingdonshire”.

March 2013

Rotoract Club of Huntingdon raises £255 for dreamdrops

Rotoract Huntingdon present cheque to dreamdrops

Anne-Marie Hamilton receiving cheque from Mark Cardwell

October 2012

Children’s Unit Sensory Garden ‘Tactile Wall’ Opening

Dreamdrops sensory garden tactile wall at Hinchinbrook Hospital

Longsands Academy, St Neots students join The One Show’s Gardening Expert Christine Walkden, Clive Cakebread the President of the Rotary Club of St Neots St Marys and Anne-Marie Hamilton, chairman, dreamdrops to officially open the new tactile wall at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Hunts Post

Hunts Children’s Charity Picks Up NHS Award

Anne-Marie Hamilton, CCS chairman Heather Peck, Vivien Golding, dreamdrops charity administrator and Mike Andrews, member of the Dreamdrops fundraising committee.

Anne-Marie Hamilton, CCS chairman Heather Peck, Vivien Golding, dreamdrops charity administrator and Mike Andrews, member of the Dreamdrops fundraising committee.

Thanks to Susanna Warren, and the Co-operative Store in St. Ives we now have another 3D Pain Distraction Unit on the ground floor of Holly Ward.  The staff at the St. Ives store have fundraised tirelessly over the last year for dreamdrops and the Co-operative have match funded their efforts.  A big thank you to everyone involved.

Anne Marie Hamilton and Susanna Warren 2

3D Pain Distraction Unit

Emily Shepperson who has raised a significant amount of money for the Special Care Baby Unit and we are very grateful to her and Barclays Bank in Huntingdon for their support. Emily is a Phoenix Trader and nominates ‘dreamdrops’ to receive £100 from Phoenix International Charity.

Kirsty Pope and Tim Payne continue to raise money for Holly Ward through Imogen’s Fundraising and have held a Teddy Bears Picnic, a Casino Night and a Christmas Afternoon Tea and Craft Fayre.

SAC Brady Andrews, Rob Limb and Shane Mutimer and Flight Sergeant Tony Booth set up a darts league for personnel on RAF Wyton base and agreed that everyone should pay £1 each time they played a game which would be donated to dreamdrops. To boost their fundraising they also held tournaments that anybody could enter and the grand total of £620 was presented to Anne-Marie Hamilton in December.  The money has been spent to help children with speech and language difficulties in the local area.

Longsands Dreamdrops Presentation

Key Stage 3 teenagers from Longsands Academy raised £1,663 to help kit out the Teenage Room on Holly Ward  through a Christmas Bazaar in December.  More than 900 pupils  took part in the event, which saw 30 forms raise money for dreamdrops.  The funds will go towards updating the Teenage Room with new entertainment equipment with a group of Longsands Academy pupils invited to the hospital to give feedback and advice on what others they age may like, such as updated computer games and consoles, music players and a new TV. Christine Luckham, Holly Ward Manager receives the cheque for dreamdrops from Longsands pupils, Scott Sands, Georgia Webster, Emily Jack and Head of Willow School at Longsands Mr. David.  Work will begin on the Teenage room shortly.

Natalie Beecher has raised over £2,800 by running the Virgin London Marathon.  The dreamdrops fundraising committee and staff on Holly Ward cannon thank Natalie enough for raising an amazing amount of money.

Amie Thorpe, a local Cambourne based mother and Usborne Indpendent Organiser has provided 60  new books for the children and their brothers and sisters. to read on Holly ward.  The ward cannot receive secondhand books and Amie has started The Community Pledge by contacting local businesses who have donated money for the new books and so far has raised £360.  The Community Pledge will continue and if anyone would like to get involved then please contact the dreamdrops e-mail address .

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society (Huntingdon) have presented dreamdrops with a cheque for £300 which will be put towards purchasing a battery operated portable nebuliser for a young patient.Dreamdrops was nominated, along with two other charities, to benefit from the “Charity Choices” campaign at the Huntingdon branch.  The general public were invited to vote and dreamdrops received the second amount of votes.

Nicholas Hythe Kitchen Design Studio,  held a Neff’s Home Economist Team day at their studio in St. Ives which 75 people attended.  They doubled the amount pledged and donated £150 to dreamdrops.  The Studio continue to raise money for dreamdrops by holding a variety of events.