This is what blood donors do….

Maisy after her birth (left) and now (right)
Maisy after her birth (left) and now (right)

Many of you will have seen the incredible story of little Maisy Vignes  on our website. Her story was chosen to illustrate the incredible impact that each and every blood donor can have and the reason why all of us should consider donating blood if we are eligible to.

Maisy, from Tramore in Ireland, was born in December 2009 without a single drop of blood in her body.  Until her birth, doctors had never known of any other baby to survive being born with a zero blood count. Thanks to the generosity of some incredible blood donors, Maisy’s life was saved that night and this month she has just started school.

Independent News and Media (INM) photo of Maisy Vignes
Photo courtesy of Independent News and Media

After recent coverage in a local newspaper, Maisy’s story has gone viral, reaching France, The Netherlands, Thailand, Sweden and Greece…all countries where little yellow ducks have also been reported! You can read some of the articles on Maisy herehere and here.

“What blood donors do is amazing” explains Emma. “Maisy is our world and we will be forever grateful to the people who donated their blood so that she could live”.

We wish Maisy lots of luck in her new start to school life!


Don’t Knit, Don’t Sew, What Do You Do?

Answer? You join right in with the Little Yellow Duck Project anyway!

That’s right folks, although we have amazing volunteers around the world clicking their knitting needles and revving up their sewing machines,  this is a project that anyone can join in with! We have small children taking part right through to knitters in their 90’s. And today we bring you a tutorial by the lovely Jo Griffith who has created these beauties with little more than glue, paper and glittery bits and pieces.

Check out the pattern HERE.

Jo Griffiths

Joannah Griffiths

This week we also got sent a photo of a duck that surely wins a prize for the most creative idea yet. The duck was created by using a lemon and Post-It Notes!

Do you know the child who made it and left it to be found by its delighted new owners in Lewes, UK? If so, we’d love to hear about it!

Lewes Lemon Duck 1 - permission from finder

Lewes Lemon Duck 2 - Permission from Finder

New World Map of Ducks

Hi, Rich here. I’m the guy behind the website – maintaining, developing, updating, etc. I wanted to give a preview of a new map I have set up before I integrate into the website later today.

It is a combined zoomable, clickable map as before but with a searchable, sortable list of all ducks found. You can switch between the two as you like. Click the blue “Filter” button to find any data from the list – why not have a play?

As I said, I’ll integrate it into the website today and then blog a few tips on how to use it. Please fell free to comment on this post if you like it or even if you don’t – but be nice!

The map can be found here.

6 Continents in 106 Days

Over the last few days, South Africa has joined the world map as little yellow ducks are launched far and wide across this beautiful country.

This news means that in 106 days we have managed to get ducks reported in all 6 inhabited continents in the world – Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Asia and Australia. It is now our mission to get a duck reported in Antarctica – watch this space!

6 continents

South African Launch!

South African LYDP ChallengeIt’s Friday 1st August and today marks the launch of the Little Yellow Duck Project in South Africa – a country that holds a huge place in organ donation and transplant history as it is where the first ever heart transplant was performed in 1967!

Always being up for a bit of competition, our South African friends have taken it one step further and are launching a national challenge to see whether the north or south of the country are better when it comes to getting their ducks on the map…along with some great prizes on offer! CLICK HERE or CLICK HERE if you’d like to join in or find out more. The challenge runs until the 31st August 2014.

Two new duck patterns have also kindly been created and shared by members of the South African Ravelry group. The first is the gorgeous ‘Quack Quack Duck’ by Carle’ Dehning, based in Cape Town, who is team leader for the southern group.   This pattern is available for free throughout August using the code ‘The Little Yellow Duck Project’.

Quack Quack Duck by Carle Dehning

The second pattern is the lovely ‘Little Yellow Duck’ crochet pattern by Stephanie Davies which is featured on her blog post about the LYD Project.

Stephanie Pattern


South Africa has always held a special place in my heart since I lived there for a year after leaving school and I have been lucky enough to go back to visit since. When I last visited in 2008 I met with the South African Organ Donor Foundation at their offices in Cape Town. It was great to hear about all their amazing work to encourage people to donate the gift of life.

Emma and Philipa2
Philippa Douglas – Executive Director of SAODF (left) and me (right)

So which team will be the first to get a duck on our world map and make South Africa country number 32?  Will Team Carle get the most hits on the map or will Wooldiaries lead her northern team to victory in the ducky challenge?  Keep watching that map and good luck to everyone taking part!

The South African Tag designed by Gina Ross of
The South African Tag designed by Gina Ross of


Meet a Yellow Duck Lifesaver!

Emma making her first ever blood donation - what a star!
Emma making her first ever blood donation – what a star!

Let me introduce you to one of our Yellow Duck Lifesavers! This is Emma and 4 weeks ago  her 19-month old little girl found a little duck called Marmaduke in the park (now affectionately known as “Waa Wack” by her daughter).

Marmaduke had an effect, a very significant effect.  Emma had always wanted to give blood but had never quite plucked up the courage to do it, since she wasn’t keen on the idea of needles.  After bringing Marmaduke home, Emma decided that she needed to take action and promptly booked an appointment to give blood at her local donation centre.  At her next appointment she will also register as a potential bone marrow donor.

“If it wasn’t for my little one finding one of the ducks I’d never have plucked up the courage to go. It’s my daughter that deserves the thanks as she wouldn’t let me leave the duck behind! She was with my other half while I did it and I got him to sit with me so she can see and grow up seeing it so hopefully she will donate too.

I must admit I nearly chickened out, having someone with me helped. I needed to do this and book in again. I’ve always wanted to. I’m not scared of needles but they aren’t my favourite thing so took a bit of courage”.

Emma’s blood donation took around 10 minutes and will go on to potentially save the lives of up to 3 children or adults. It’s amazing to think that each of us could potentially donate enough blood in our lifetime to save the lives of over 1000 people !

Maisy after her birth (left) and now (right)
Maisy after her birth (left) and now (right)

Click here to read the story of 4-year old Maisy, who is only alive today thanks to blood donors like Emma.  Maisy’s Mum has this to say about those who donated the blood that saved her baby’s life:

“What blood donors do is amazing.  Maisy is our world and we will be forever grateful to the people who donated their blood so that she could live”.

Today we are sending a great big thank you out to Emma for becoming a blood donor, as well as to Marmaduke’s creator (as yet unknown) whose beautiful gift inspired Emma to donate.

Amazing Messages

One of the best parts of running the LYD Project, is getting to read all the messages from both those making the ducks and those who find them.

Jennifer from Katy, Texas sent me over this gorgeous photo of her children with the ducks they found:

Jennifer Follmar Daniels (Permission to share)

“My daughter turned 2 last Saturday.  We were dropping her big brother off at school today when she said “Mommy, a guck! Quack-quack! This sweet little guy is adorable. It went to exercise class, the grocery store and had a nap with my daughter today. I shared this with all my friends. I don’t know how to sew but my grandmother does.  I’m going to call her to see if she will make another duck to spread the word up that way. I think she will love this as much as we have.”

Penny contacted me after finding her duck, Dotty, at her place of work in Newcastle.

“What a lovely suprise to find Dotty,  I love her already!
The website is gorgeous and so is the thought behind it.  This random act of kindness has made me feel special and quite privileged actually.  It means such a lot to me as I donated bone marrow in April 2002 to a non related match. I recently registered as an organ donor and carry my card with me at all times Dotty is now pride of place on my kitchen dresser. Thank you!”

The guys over at Platform 22 Cafe in Torphins, Aberdeenshire, sent us this lovely photo of the duck they found outside the cafe, along with a message:

Platform 22 (NP)

“Finding this made my day! It has also inspired our whole family to help spread the important awareness that The Little Yellow Duck Project hopes to do! We are now making out own little duckies and leaving them all about to help this brilliant project raise awareness!” 

The next post here will share some of the messages from those who have committed to become donors as a direct result of the Little Yellow Duck Project. Watch this space!



New Poster and Flyer!

LYD-A5-Flyer-Final-Update (1)

Please download and print off copies of our flyers/posters to help spread the word of the Little Yellow Duck Project.  Yarn, fabric and craft shops are perfect places to display these. Why not keep some in your bag to hand out to knitting groups and sewing circles too?!

I am so grateful to Phill Brown of Phill Brown Design for giving his time and creativity to designing these for me.  Also thank you to Suzy Compton for providing the duck model which is her own pattern and will also be available from our website soon.



We’ve Hit 500!



This morning I got the exciting news that we have hit (and now passed) the 500 mark for reported ducks!!

Yesterday I also completed a survey as to how many ducks get reported compared to the overall number that are found.  This showed that 29% of those that are received are reported onto the world map. Meaning that it’s likely that around 1,800 life-saving ducks have been spread round the world to date!

We have ducks reported as found from 15 countries worldwide.  This means that more and more people are receiving this vital message…

images (3)

We get many messages from those who find ducks, saying how happy they have made them and how it has encouraged them to spread the word on the various forms of donation, as well as to register to donate themselves.  Here is one message just in today, that came with this lovely photo:

FOUND DUCK - Natasha Jupp (NP)

Found my little friend Sammy in Peterborough UK!  I was at the checkout in Lidl, I spotted a tiny knitted beak under a pile of dried fruit and nuts. I couldn’t believe what I had found, I will cherish it, Thank you. Love the project, pleased to say I’ve signed up to give blood!”

Thank you so much to Natasha for that lovely message.  It makes the entire project worthwhile for all those involved when we get to hear that the ducks have made someone happy AND encouraged them to save the lives of others by donating.

And THANK YOU to each and every person who has been involved in the Little Yellow Duck Project since we launched just 3 months ago. Here’s to hitting the 1000 mark now!

We’ve hit 200!

This morning I got the exciting news that we now have 200 ducks on the map from 11 countries around the world!! Since it seems like around only a third of ducks finds get reported to us, it’s likely that there are at least 600 of these beautiful gifts out there in the world….spreading their message about the value of blood, stem cell and organ/tissue donation.

One of the highlights of running the Little Yellow Duck Project is receiving messages and photos from those who have created ducks and those who find them.  Every day more photos and messages flood into the LYDP Facebook, Twitter and Ravelry pages, as well as into the LYDP inbox.

Our fantastic supporters are finding so many unique and exciting places to leave their gifts around the world. Here are some of my favourite so far…

PicMonkey Collage
Haydn and Euan took their ducks to the top of The Shard in London – Europe’s tallest building!
Helene Britt (Norway Trip)2
Helene took her ducks for a trip around Norway where they all found new homes!
Martha's beautiful ducks are finding homes in Belgrade, Serbia
Martha’s beautiful ducks are finding homes in Belgrade, Serbia

Please keep sending in your photos and messages. And please keep making these ducks and passing on their life-saving message!

Emma x

The Little Yellow Duck Project creates and distributes handcrafted gifts to raise global awareness of blood, bone marrow, organ and tissue donation.