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…

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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

3 is a magic number

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I’m excited to report that we are getting around 3 new duck finds added to our world map every day! Only around 25% of the ducks get reported to the website, so  the actual number of people receiving ducks and their lifesaving message is much higher than this. Thank you to everyone who is taking part in spreading this lifesaving message.

download (1) also has other relevance to this campaign:

download people die each day in the UK awaiting a transplant

images (1) lives can be saved by each blood donation


hours is the speed with which a stem cell donation (via PBSC) can be completed


Finally, I’d like to share the story of little Maisy Vignes. Maisy was the first baby in medical history to survive being born with a zero blood count. On the night Maisy was born she was rushed to intensive care with a slim chance of survival.

download2is the number of blood transfusions that saved Maisy’s life that night.  Her Mum, Emma, says ““What blood donors do is amazing and we will be forever grateful to the people who donated their blood so that Maisy could live”.

Maisy on the night she was born
Maisy on the night she was born
Maisy today
Maisy today

 You can read Maisy’s full story HERE.

Please keep spreading the word! xxx



Out into the big wide world

Baby GoldenEye Ducks Leaving Nest for First Time
Photo courtesy of

This gorgeous photo is of baby Goldeneye ducks leaving their nest for the first time to go out into the big wide world.  Isn’t it adorable?

And just like the baby ducklings in the photo, flocks of little yellow ducks are launching themselves into the big wide world too!

Yesterday we added our 7th country to the world map after little Nini was found in Germany.  Nini was created by one of the members of our Ravelry group and left at a small café at the corner of a street in Berlin.  A few hours later she was reported to us as found with a lovely message from her delighted new owner.

Nini waiting in the Berlin sunshine!
Nini waiting in the Berlin sunshine!

The other countries where ducks have been reported as found are:  UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. We also know that ducks have been left in other countries including Ireland, Norway and Abu Dhabi and have volunteers working away in South Africa, Philippines and Serbia.

Meanwhile duck tags are now available in German and will soon be available in Chinese, Russian, French, Dutch, Danish, Spanish and Italian. A huge thank you to all those who have kindly offered to translate the tags and sections of the website so that this project can reach more people.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite photos which is of little Quacky enjoying a snooze in the sunshine on Bournemouth beach, UK!

Bournemouth Beach



Jo Blackwell Photography - Little Yellow Duck Project-001

The title of this blog post says it all!

The Little Yellow Duck Project has only been going for 2 weeks now but in that short space of time so many amazing things have happened.

Here are three of the top highlights during that time:

1.  The support we have received: 

I have been blown away by the way this little project has been taken into the hearts of people around the world in such a short space of time.

Jessica George - our stitched pattern designer - with a selection of the ducks she has made
Jessica George – our stitched pattern designer – with a selection of the ducks she has made

From the crafting community around the world to those who have been personally touched by blood, organ, tissue and bone marrow donation; from professional designers who have got behind us and given us their time to the support of parents who have lost a child awaiting a transplant; from magazine editors to individual bloggers; I’m been so touched by the support and interest this little project has ignited.

For every person who is knitting, sewing, crocheting ducks and for every person who is spreading the word by sharing news of it around the world, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Thank You tag

2. Ducks Going Global:

United-kingdom-flag United-states-flag New-zealand Canada-flag Australia-flagFrance-flag

We now have ducks marked as found from 6 different countries around the world!

So far we have ducks marked from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France. We  also have volunteers working away in South Africa and Germany, as well as people planning to take ducks with them on their travels to Spain, Italy, the Phillipines, India, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Mauritius and Ireland.

As word spreads about the Little Yellow Duck Project, I can’t wait to that map becoming a sea of red spots marking the spread of little ducks (and their lifesaving message) across the globe!

3.  The messages being received:

There is nothing more exciting than opening my inbox to find messages from those who have found out about the project and those who have found ducks.  It is so amazing to know that the Little Yellow Duck Project is motivating people to make a difference, making people smile and bringing people together to spread its life-saving message about donation.

Gorgeous crochet duck by Woolhelmina
Gorgeous crochet duck by Woolhelmina

However the most heart-warming messages of all are those from people who have said that the project has encouraged them to register as a donor of some form.  This project really can save lives and all of you who are getting involved are making that happen!

Here is an example of two lovely messages received today from those who found ducks in the UK and Australia:

“Good luck with everything you do to spread the word about being a donor. I am a blood donor, aged 65. My son needed lots of blood after a road traffic accident, so I appreciate how important donors are, of every type. I will check out the patterns available for ducks, and will maybe make one to pass on….it brightened my day.”

“Thanks for the lovely little one, he becomes one of my family members now.”

Thank you to Deb Tunstall for this photo of her little duck waiting to be found in the bakers!
Thank you to Deb Tunstall for this photo of her little duck waiting to be found in the bakers!


Easter, Ducks and New Life


I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter weekend wherever they are in the world!

Here in the UK we’ve been enjoying some lovely warm sunshine and with the trees in blossom and some remaining daffodils bobbing their bright little heads,  it’s finally feels like Spring has sprung.


Springtime and Easter are both times when the feeling of new life is all around us.  New leaves are finally appearing on the trees, flowers are raising their heads to welcome to sun and lambs are appearing in the fields.  Easter Sunday, a key date in the Christian calendar,  celebrates Jesus’ Resurrection and its message of hope and new life after death. The custom of exchanging chocolate eggs is a reminder of the new life that this time of year is all about.


So it is really the perfect time for the Little Yellow Duck Project to have launched.  Little yellow ducklings represent Spring and all its delights.  But more than that, they are raising awareness of how we can all give new life to others in our community,  through donation of life-saving blood,  stem cells (bone marrow), organs and tissues.


This Spring marks one year since I lost my beautiful ‘sister’ Clare, who the Little Yellow Duck Project is dedicated to. But it also marks one year since the sight of two other young adults was restored through the donation of Clare’s corneas.

I hope that this Spring, those two young adults are enjoying seeing all the beautiful scenes around them clearly, thanks to the gift Clare passed on. I know it’s exactly what she would have wanted.



Putting Yellow Ducks on the Map!

Polymer Clay duck being hidden by its creator by Jac Didsbury!
Polymer Clay duck being hidden by its creator by Jac Didsbury!

Today we received the exciting news that 5 people have contacted the website to say that they have been the lucky finders of ducks made by our wonderful volunteers. Check out the world map page to see their locations.

Gillian weir duck
Knitted duck being hidden by creator Gillian Weir!

If anyone reading this has found a duck, we’d love to hear from you! Each little gift takes a lot of time, love and dedication to create so it’s really rewarding to know that they have been appreciated and brightened up someone’s day.

Looking forward to more ducks on the map across the world over the coming weeks!

It’s Little Yellow Duck Day!

Jessica George3

It’s hard to believe after all the work over the last few weeks, here we are on the launch day of the Little Yellow Duck Project!

So what’s the big idea and how did it all start?

Clare and one of her ducks!
Clare and one of her ducks!

As some of you may already know, the LYD Project is dedicated to the memory of my best friend, Clare Cruickshank.  Clare passed away on April 15th 2013 awaiting a double lung transplant for cystic fibrosis.  She was only 26 and due to the chronic shortage of organ donors here in the UK, Clare never got her second chance at life.

Clare was an incredibly kind and generous person.  With time running out, she asked her Mum to ensure that her wishes to donate to others would be fulfilled after she died.  As a result, her corneas were donated to two other young adults to restore their sight.

Clare was a lot more than a best friend to me.  To my husband, Brad, and I, she was affectionately known as our little sister.  She was also the most loving, caring godmother to our little boy, Teddy.

Clare with godson Teddy
Clare with godson Teddy

Last month, as Clare’s first anniversary approached, her Mum had the idea of  marking it by carrying out random acts of kindness in memory of her generous daughter.  Determined to get involved, I thought back over the things that I associated most with Clare and her fun-filled life.

Clare with one of her Birthday gifts from her work colleagues one year!
Clare with one of her Birthday gifts from her work colleagues one year!

The first thing was little yellow ducks!  Clare loved collecting things that made her smile.  And one of the things that made her smile a lot was little yellow bath ducks  She had a huge collection of duck-related items that people had bought her –  bath ducks large and small, cuddly ducks, toy ducks, duck postcards and duck accessories.  I remember that for Christmas 2012 she even got a giant duck slipper (to fit both feet inside) from me!

The next thing I thought of was her creativity. Clare was never happier than sitting knee deep in glitter making something or whipping out her sewing machine to turn an old skirt into a new bag.  Even when she became really poorly in the last year of her life she took up nail art as a hobby as it allowed her to be creative from her bed or during endless weeks in hospital.

The final thing I thought of was Clare’s sense of fun.  She was probably the funniest, bubbliest person who I’ve ever had the joy of knowing.  She was famous for always getting herself into the most hilarious scrapes which she would then repeat to us as we fell about laughing as she giggled non-stop.

So, when it came to thinking of a project that combined little yellow ducks, creativity and a sense of fun, the outcome was….

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Trying to get everything ready for today has been hard work and at times I wondered if it was even going to be possible, but to finally it’s all come together thanks to the amazing people who have supported it and got on board to make it a success.

The first wave of little yellow ducks are on their way to new homes around the world and in the coming weeks and months I hope hundreds more will follow them.

JO Courtenay2

This project is all about gifts of love and Gifts of Life.  Each little duck is on a mission to raise a smile as a random act of kindness, and to remind us all that random acts of kindness can save lives through organ, blood and bone marrow donation.

If these little ducks can achieve this, they will have been more than worth the effort that has gone into each and every one!

Lisa van Klaveren


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