Girls present cheque to Marie Curie

Lauren and Lily Bates, aged eight and six, who raised money for Marie Curie
Lauren and Lily Bates, aged eight and six, who raised money for Marie Curie

Two Co Londonderry girls have presented a cheque for £1,851 to Marie Curie.

Lauren and Lily Bates, from Ballyronan presented a cheque to heather Miller, Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie.

The sisters, aged eight and six, raised the money through the sale of daffodils, homemade scones, cakes, traybakes and desserts in their garage at their home.

Their fundraising for Marie Curie started from nothing really in April 2014. The girls have been saving for a pony for the last three-four years, then as the daffodils started to bloom along their lane in April 2014, Lauren had the idea to sell them.

At the start, Lauren and Lily hoped to set up a stall at the end of the lane but mum Dawn thought a stall in their garage would be more practical. It started as a way to make money for a pony but quickly turned into something much more special when Dawn had the idea to donate the money to Charity instead.

“After a few callers gave £1 a bunch, the Daffodil Appeal came to my mind. I suggested to the girls that instead of putting the money towards their pony fund, why don’t we give the money to people who need it more than they need a pony,” she said.

Dawn explained to the girls, that there are people who are very sick and need nurses to help them and their families. Lauren and Lily thought this was a great idea so they printed off posters and signs from the Marie Curie website to decorate their stall. The word quickly spread and after about three weeks the girls raised a total of £540 in April 2014.

Their fundraiser has now become an annual event and each year it attracts more of a crowd. The girls love the run up to the event and enjoy helping their mum organise it, by baking, picking hundreds of daffodils and printing off posters and leaflets and distributing them in various locations, not to mention all their hard work on the fundraising day itself.

Mum Dawn says they hope to run the daffodil sale as an annual event for as many years as the girls are willing to put the time, effort and energy into it.

“We totally exceeded our expectations this year by raising a grand total of £1851, so thanks must go to absolutely everyone who supported the girls fundraiser on the day and for those who were unable to make it on the day but donated afterwards,” she said.

“A big thank you must also go to the following people for donating raffle prizes: H. Watterson (painting), Country Charm (voucher), Ewart Caskey (10 bags of sticks) and to Noilin Caskey who donated 15 decoupage bottles to our stall on Saturday 26th March.”