Chemo ducks are given to a child diagnosed with cancer being treated at Leeds Children’s Hospital for play therapy and to support and educate children and their families during their diagnosis and treatment for cancer.

One of the little extras Candlelighters covers is the cost of new outfits for chemo-ducks; as well as funding play leader roles on the wards who use the toy ducks to help children understand what is happening to their body at what can be a very frightening time.

Heidi aged 9, a cancer patient, told us: “When I first got my duck I was cuddling her because I was scared and the outfits made my duck pretty. Her name is Quackers! I would love a leotard and tutu for Quackers.”

A group of dedicated volunteers meet on a weekly basis at Rivers Meet Craft Café in Methley to help design and make duck outfits, making dreams come true for children like Heidi. From cutting out to ironing, sewing to embroidering, there is something for everyone to get involved with no matter their ability.

Café owner, Joanne Plenderleith, donates not only the use of her room and materials, but her time and expertise to help put a smile on a child’s face. She told us:“It is a great group of people who all come together to help to make something that a child will cherish. We make all sorts, from superhero outfits to dresses, we try to ensure there is something for every child to enjoy.”

Having already made hundreds of outfits over the years, the volunteers have set themselves a quackers challenge – to spend an entire day making duck outfits!

The Chemo-Duck-A-Thon will be held on Friday 28th July at the café from 9am until 4.30pm and they are welcoming people to come along and join in. There will also be some fundraising taking place on the day for Candlelighters, including a raffle and it is open to all.

To find out more please go to or visit their facebook page: Rivers Meet Friends

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