Hemel Hempstead’s iconic haberdashery Needlecraft has donated an incredible £10,000 to charity over the years – all thanks to one selfless woman.
Miriam Ellis, 75, of Boxmoor, has been knitting dolly clothes for sale in the store for decades, with all the profits going to Children in Need since it began in 1980.
Kind-hearted knitter Miriam ran the Warners End Drapers store for around 30 years before her family opened the shop in Cotterells, which now raises around £400 yearly for the good cause.
Her daughter Karen Potten and granddaughter Jennifer represented the beloved grandmother on BBC’s The One Show on Wednesday night, when they featured in a live-round up of Children in Need fundraisers across the country with presenter Matt Baker.
Karen, of Dagnall, who now runs Needlecraft with her sister Julie Mills, said: “The show had asked my mum to come but it was too much for her at her age, so we went to represent her. Since Children in Need has been going, every year my mum has knitted dolly clothes, all year round, which we sell in Needlecraft.
“I thought she needed to have her name up there - she has been doing it for so many years and it has grown more and more over time because people have come to know that we sell them.
“I just emailed the BBC to tell them about her but I didn’t think for one minute that they would ask us to come down.”
Miriam also knits a woollen dolly each year to raffle off in the store – bringing in around £50 annually to her already impressive total.
Karen added: “I don’t think even she can remember when it all began. It has just got bigger and bigger, and we estimate she must have raised about £10,000 over the years, which is a lot for just one person.
“It was all her idea and it came about purely for Children in Need. She loves it – she does it all day, every day, all day long.
“Being on the One Show was also very interesting for us to be there because we saw Daniel Radcliffe and Oprah Winfrey, but the main thing was getting mum’s name up in lights, because she really deserves it. She was amazed to see us on there.”
The family will be drawing the doll raffle today. Children in Need will be shown tonight on BBC1 from 7.30pm.