A few weeks ago, Layla Duck was found in Lealholm in North Yorkshire by members of the Crown Biker MCC. The group, which has 31 members was formed 3 1/2 years ago in Redcar, Cleveland with the intention of riding from their base to pubs with Crown in their names whilst raising money for Maxis Mates, a charity that rehomes dogs. Layla looks like she is having fun, on a double mission to help people and their best friends.
Well, not the actual planet but our own map of it is very yellow. Now covering 95 countries, that’s half of the countries in the world. I thought we had a new country this week when a duck in South Korea was logged, but it is actually the second duck to be logged there.
I find shopping malls are a good place, especially cafes with outside tables where a duck can be sneakily left as I quickly make my escape. It doesn’t always work and I have been chased down the street by wait staff on occasion.
This week amongst the ducks logged was Granville. Found and adopted by Eve, Granville was found hiding inside a vending machine in Billingham Forum near Stockton-On-Tees. That’s inventive.
Yellow Duck Day is marked annually on April 15th, the date that the Little Yellow Duck Project was launched back in 2014. This date was chosen as it marked a year to the day that I lost my best friend (and my son’s godmother), Clare Cruickshank.
As many of you will already know, Clare was in desperate need of a double lung transplant due to end-stage cystic fibrosis. At just 26 years of age, Clare ran out of time due to the chronic shortage of donor organs in the UK. Clare had decided beforehand, that she would want to be a donor if she didn’t make it. As a result her corneas were donated to restore sight to two young adults in their twenties.
Clare was crazy about little yellow ducks and collected them in all shapes and sizes. It was an example of the sweet, amusing and fun-loving person that she was. No one could feel sad or downhearted when Clare was around! So they seemed perfect to be used as an emblem for spreading happiness around the world, as well as awareness of how we can all save lives through the gifts of blood, bone marrow/stem cell, organ and tissue donation.
Clare had an incredibly pragmatic attitude to organ donation. She once summed the situation up so simply to me when we were discussing people choosing to be organ donors…
“If you’ve got a pair of shoes that you don’t need anymore, you take them to a charity shop don’t you? Then someone else can use them. What’s the difference with passing on your organs?”
If we all thought more like this, people like Clare would still be with us today. Thanks to this attitude, Clare’s corneas went on to give sight to two other people when she no longer needed them. What an amazing legacy for such a beautiful person to leave behind. And now, through the Little Yellow Duck Project, more people will hopefully do the same.
Today has been a huge success in spreading awareness of the project and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped make it happen. I’ll be updating on everything achieved in my next post. But don’t forget, the Little Yellow Duck Project runs 365 days a year, so please keep making those ducks and passing on their life-saving messages!
It’s all about ducks with ears this Easter at the Little Yellow Duck Project…aren’t they cute?!
If you would like to knit your own duck bunny, check out the fabulous bunny ears accessories that our designer, Suzy Compton, has created! Suzy’s Yellow Duck pattern, designed exclusively for the Little Yellow Duck Project in 2014, now comes with patterns for knitted ears and knitted duck feet!
If you’re releasing ducks this Easter, please share your photos with us on our Facebook Page…we love seeing what all our volunteers are up to!
We are now less than a week away from Yellow Duck Day 2017 – the day we mark the anniversary of the project’s launch. I vividly remember that day back in April 2014 when I anxiously checked my emails, desperately hoping that a duck would be reported as found somewhere in the world. When that first email came in (from Stockton-on-Tees, UK) it was a moment of huge celebration.
Then came the next challenge….to get a duck reported from outside the UK! Within 24 hours that challenge had been met with a duck reported from the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands and the next target was set…to get a duck reported from outside Europe!
We had to wait 9 days for that moment to occur (with a report from Indiana, USA) and from then on the numbers of countries and continents began to grow. Incredibly, with the first year of the project’s launch we had received duck reports from every single continent in the world (including Antarctica!) and from 61 different countries.
Obviously after that, the numbers of new countries being added to the map began to slow down somewhat, but that only serves to make the occasions when it does occur all the sweeter.
So this morning, you can imagine my elation when I switched on the computer and saw that Jordan – country 94 – was to join the map! This was all thanks to one of our most diligent knitting volunteers, Terry Walters, who has now knitted over 700 ducks for us….yes, that’s over 700!!
Terry’s sister, Lesley, was off on holiday to Jordan, so Terry ensured she went armed with a little band of ducks to leave for others to find, and in the hopes that at least one might get reported back to us. Sure enough, this morning it did! Bob the duck was found at the Monastery (Ad-Deir), one of the legendary monuments of Petra, an ancient city dating back to the 1st Century BC that was named as one of the 7 New Wonders of the World in 2007.
Here’s hoping that before too long, country 95 will join the map! Which one will it be?! If you can help us spread these little ducks around the world we would love you to get involved. Each one can spread some sunshine and happiness and – with any luck – perhaps even go on to save a life by encouraging someone to consider becoming a blood, bone marrow or organ donor. Let’s keep the yellow ducks flying!
I’m delighted to be able to announce the launch of our new machine embroidery patterns! These can be used to create an adorable little yellow duck and a selection of bookmarks (great for leaving in libraries!) and keyfobs (ideal for geocaches and other small places).
Thank you so much to Sue and to all our other designers who have created the patterns for the Little Yellow Duck Project. Without them we could not do what we do to bring smiles, raise awareness and save lives!
Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone! Check out these amazing themed ducks that some of our members made for this special day…aren’t they incredible?!
Of course every single duck made for the project is special to us and special to those who find them…and extra special to the people whose lives get saved through blood, organ/tissue and stem cell donation as a result of increased awareness. But it’s lovely to see the way that some of our wonderful volunteers like to adapt their ducks to suit different themes throughout the year.
The day was marked on social media by plenty of awareness about the value of life-saving donations. Here’s a couple that caught our eye :
My little boy is crazy about pirates at the moment….and even more crazy about treasure hunts. So you can imagine how excited he was to hear about all the pirate ducks that have been travelling the world and hiding in real life treasure chests as part of the phenomenon of ‘geocaching’.
So what is geocaching?
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices such as mobile phones. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the cache (container) hidden at that location. Each cache contains a log book or log sheet where you can sign your name and larger ones often contain a variety of small gifts. The custom is that if you take something, you leave a gift yourself for someone else and then carefully replace the cache where you found it. You can find more information on geocaching and how to get involved HERE.
One of our awesome members, Jane , is a big fan of both knitting and geocaching and has now hidden around 100 little ducks in caches around the UK. Obviously the items need to be small so Jane likes to make duck keyrings using the pattern by Shaz Peacock on our website and then attaches one of our tags to them. These are logged on the world map as “Ben’s Peebats”. For smaller caches she leaves tiny plastic yellow duck keyrings instead which are logged as “Pirate Peebats”.
“Geocaching is a real world treasure hunt. It’s great, free, exercise and you get to visit some lovely places you didn’t know existed” says Jane.
“The lovely thing about leaving the ducks in geocaches is you never know when or where one will turn up on the map. Pirate Rincewind keeps appearing all over the place. In 2015 he travelled around Wales, England and Holland before ending up in Texas earlier this year. I know it’s mine because I can track him through the geocache site. I’ve seen the knitted ducks in use as bag charms and it always raises a smile.”
Last July Jane took part in Piratemania – England’s biggest annual geocaching event – which was being held in the Peak District. She made numerous pirate ducks which she left out in the open all around Bakewell, where the event was being held, with the LYD Project tags attached. Jane has made the instructions on how to make pirate eye-patches and neckerchiefs available online for those who would like to make their own versions.
Have you ever found one of Jane’s ducks? Are you one of our other members who likes to hide ducks in geocaches? Do you fancy giving geocaching a go? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!