Cuddly fair prizes set to raise vital funds for Peterborough's Thorpe Hall Hospice

Roy and Ann Pettitt donate more than 100 cuddly toys collected from seaside arcades

By Stephen Briggs
Saturday, 7th May 2022, 2:00 pm
Roy and Ann with some of the toys
Roy and Ann with some of the toys

More than 100 cuddly toys won at seaside arcades have been donated to help Peterborough’s Thorpe Hall Hospice.

Roy and Ann Pettitt, aged 75 and 76, won the cuddly toys from crane machines over the years but are moving home and say they no longer have space for them.

The couple struck it lucky on the toy cranes for over 40 years at amusements while holidaying or day tripping in a number of seaside resorts including Hunstanton, Tenby and Wicksteed Park.

Some of the toys collected by Roy and Ann

“It has been good fun and holds many happy memories for us," adds Roy. "We used to come home with carrier bags full of cuddly toys. I can remember once we won nine of these furry dogs from one machine. It was quite embarrassing emptying the machine and walking out with armfuls of furry cuddly dogs!”

After grandchildren took their pick of the pair’s ‘plush’ winnings, Roy and Ann kept the cuddly toys in their loft in plastic boxes. They were surprised to find on having a clear out ten years ago that they had amassed 250 toys over 40 years, so they decided to use them to raise funds at their local fete.

“About ten years ago we had a fete in the village and we thought we would donate some of the furry animals,” added Roy. “We chose 125 of the toys and held a stall for a pound a go and a prize every time. We had huge queues and had sold out after only half an hour. We donated half of the funds to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice and the other half to our local church.

“After that we said we wouldn’t do the cranes again but one day we were in Hunstanton and I spotted a crane that looked like we could win something from. We put the money in, we got one and we carried on playing the machines for another ten years.”

Both Roy and Ann put their hand to trying to win a prize on the machines but they say neither one of them is luckier than the other.

However, they hope their prize-winning luck over the years will help support people needing the care of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

Roy said: “We hope the toys will raise funds via raffles or being sold so the charity can use the funds as they need to, or maybe they can be given to visiting children who might appreciate a cuddly toy. We don’t mind really – we just want them to support Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.”

Helen Kingston, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said, “It was an absolute delight to receive the fabulous furry donation of cuddly toys from Roy and Ann recently. You can’t fail to smile when you see the brightly coloured toys all lined up together."

“At Sue Ryder we believe that the end of someone’s life is the most important time of their life and our care teams do all they can to make room for the things that matter – spending time with loved ones and sharing memories.”