Valentine’s crafting boxes will raise money for Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Andrew Poodle and Gayle Hall

Andrew Poodle and Gayle Hall - Credit: Archant

A haberdashery store in St Neots has created a special crafting box in aid of raising money for the children’s ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Habbydays, in Eaton Socon, decided to put together an assortment of goodies in time for Valentine’s Day, after the son of one of its employees was diagnosed with meningitis.

At just three-months-old, George Paddington was rushed to hospital in February 2016 where he was diagnosed with septicaemia before being transferred to St Mary’s Hospital in London.

There, his mum, Kerry Vidgen, 26, was told he had meningitis – an infection of the protective membranes which surround the brain and spinal cord.

George was put on a life support machine and developed other complications during his treatment which meant he had to go for surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Now, a year on from the family’s ordeal, the toddler is getting stronger despite being hemiplegic, globally delayed and diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

And to recognise his progress and the work done to save him, the haberdashery store wants to give something back

Most Read

Gayle Hall, who is Kerry’s sister and owner of Habbydays, has put together a ‘George’s Valentine Surprise Box’ in aid of the children’s ward at Hinchingbrooke.

She said: “It was just a massive blow. There was this little boy who had just come into the world, and when you hear meningitis you know it’s bad. It was incredibly scary.

“It was hard seeing Kerry go through all of that, and George himself, and she’s my hero. We were there as much as possible, but she was there on her own in the hospital and in the hotel rooms.

“It’s your worst nightmare.”

The boxes are made up of crafting goodies with a Valentine’s theme including buttons, zips, thread, pins, beads, and artwork, with all proceeds going to the hospital to help them buy toys and equipment for patients.

Habbydays, in Steel Close, and is also selling the box online.

Small boxes cost £9, with regular sizes costing £17.

For more, visit