Marvellous Maisie, 8, raises money for sick children from her own hospital bed

Maisie Skinner, 8 years old and a member of 18th/25th Cambridge Brownies, has been taking her Brownie promise to serve her community seriously! She has raised over £800 by making 325 key rings from her own hospital bed for charity.

Maisie started making the key rings, decorated with names, when she was admitted to the children’s wards of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, because of her cystic fibrosis, a progressive genetic disorder that causes persistent lung infections.

It’s been a tough few months for Maisie, who had been shielding due to coronavirus, on top of her usual pile of regular medication and treatments. She has hospital appointments every month and fortnight-long hospital admissions every 12 weeks. Despite this, Maisie has continued to join her Brownie unit’s virtual meetings, even from her hospital bed!

The Charities interest badge challenges Brownies to get involved in a charity and do their best to make a difference for it. Maisie wanted to support Starlight Children’s Foundation, in recognition of how the charity has helped both her and other children attending Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The Starlight Children’s Foundation supports seriously ill children through hospital play services and granting wishes for children suffering from life-threatening or life-shortening illnesses. Maisie had her own wish to go to on a family trip to Disneyland Paris granted by Starlight three years ago. The charity has also provided televisions, game consoles and toys for the children’s wards and clinics at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The money raised by Maisie could help provide materials for up to 1000 Isolation Packs, filled with books, toys and games for children isolated in hospital or shielding at home.

Maisie said, ‘Starlight have been amazing to us, and they help poorly children with different illnesses and conditions. I am amazed about how much money I have raised!’

Maisie’s mum, Charlotte Skinner, said, ‘Maisie goes into hospital quite frequently and, before this admission, she asked if she could make a few name key rings to sell and then donate the money to Starlight Children’s Foundation. I am extremely proud of Maisie. We only thought she would make a few but she has now made over 300 of them!’

Laura Huddlestone, Maisie’s Brownie leader, said, ‘Maisie is always joining in and is totally engaged with Brownies. She faces some big challenges but inspires us all with how she always thinks of others before herself. By making the keyrings and raising a massive amount of money, Maisie has also completed her Charities interest badge. She really has kept her promise “to help other people and to keep the Brownie Guide law.” We are all so proud of her.’