Shropshire girl awarded Blue Peter badge for fundraising efforts
One of the Royal British Legion's youngest volunteers has scooped a Blue Peter badge for her 'fantastic' fundraising efforts.
Ruby Sheffield, from Osbaston, near Shawbury, has been fundraising for her local RBL branch since the age of four and was inspired by her father's eight years of service in the British Army's Royal Logistics Corps.
By collecting cups at her local pub, baking and selling scones, as well as designing her very own poppy cards and keyrings, the nine-year-old has so far raised more than £700 for the charity.
Ruby hopes to reach more than £1,000 for this year's Poppy Appeal, with all donations in aid of serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.
After receiving her Blue Peter badge she said: “I was quite shocked and amazed and cried as I was so happy.
"Knowing that the RBL helps veterans like my Dad, I really wanted to start fundraising to help other families and know that every penny I make goes towards a great cause.
"My Dad enjoys being a part of the local branch in Shrewsbury and I really enjoy helping any way I can.”
Ruby’s Mum, Ellie, has spoken of her pride in her daughter for her dedication to the cause – and wrote to one of Ruby's favourite programmes to tell them of her fantastic efforts.
A few weeks later, a letter arrived in the post, along with a silver Blue Peter badge – awarded for showing kindness and helping others.
Ellie said: “I was so proud of Ruby and amazed at her drive to succeed in raising money for the RBL.
"She wanted to make her Dad proud and help others just like him who had been supported by the charity in so many ways.
"I thought when I wrote to Blue Peter she may get a letter of recognition back, but to be awarded a silver badge is just wonderful and I couldn’t be more proud.
"She is so dedicated, and her imagination has no limits when it comes to new ideas.”
Ruby's cards have reached people as far across the UK as Scotland and she is constantly thinking of ways to raise funds, with an ambition to utilise older poppy pins by transforming them into a new piece of artwork.
Jenny Komiatis, community fundraiser for the RBL in Shropshire, said: “Ruby is an absolute gem and a real superstar. Her designs are so unique, and they have been a hit far and wide.
"To start raising money for the RBL at such a young age is truly inspiring and we really appreciate her efforts to support the Armed Forces community.
"We hope her story inspires others, whatever their age, to come and volunteer and help raise vital funds.”