Comberton Village College sixth former gives poorly kids at Addenbrooke's a teddy bear each for Christmas
Big-hearted sixth former Ruby Barnard has been busy making sure youngsters in Addenbrooke’s will have a ‘Beary’ Happy Christmas, despite being in hospital in the festive season.
The 17-year-old from Cambridge has been raising funds to buy more than 100 toys from Build-a-Bear, where she works at weekends.
Now she and some friends from Comberton Sixth Form are preparing to dress up and take them round the four children’s wards at Addenbrooke’s well ahead of the 25th, so those lucky enough to be allowed home for Christmas don’t miss out.
She passed her £550 target for Cuddles for Christmas in six days, reaching almost £700 so far, and is now liaising with the hospital over whether to accessorise the bears with her employers’ seasonal options, supply a light-up reindeer for each ward or purchase additional toys for future use.
“I’m doing this totally independently of Build-a-Bear,” said Ruby, who has just been offered an interview at Oxford University where she hopes to study psychology next year. “But I got the idea from working there. I see how much joy the whole experience brings to the children making the bears and although those in hospital miss out on the making, they will still be able to have one of the special bears.”
This is the first fund-raiser that Ruby, one of Comberton’s student presidents, has organised and she has been delighted with the response.
“It’s restored my faith in humanity,” she said. “People have been so generous and even those my age who don’t have jobs have been donating £20.
“I think it’s so easy to be nice and kind. You don’t have to think on a global scale and try to stamp out malaria in Africa or anything. If I see a homeless person in Cambridge I will often ask what they need from Boots or buy them lunch instead of me.
“I’ve been involved in small charity fund-raisers before like making cakes for Children in Need or doing a sponsored silence, but the bears is the first one I’ve done on my own. I’ve been really pleased with how it’s gone.”
There is still time to donate to Cuddles for Christmas at https://uk.gofundme.com/cuddles-for-christmas