Ducks raise £7k for My Name'5 Doddie Foundation

Hundreds of tartan-clad wooden ducks are in the making after shoppers went quackers for an initial batch which flew off the shelves of a Galashiels gift shop last year, raising almost £7,000 for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 12:30 pm
A Doddie Duck sporting his My Name’5 Doddie Foundation tartan finery.

Brainchild of Fiona Horsburgh, owner of gift and homeware store Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall, the bespoke bamboo birds arrived in her Bank Street store in December but sold out in days.

Sale of the ducks have so far made £6882 for the foundation founded by Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir, who pledged to raise funds for sufferers of motor neurone disease (MND) and vital research after revealing he had the condition in 2017.

Fiona hatched the idea of a Doddie Duck this time last year. She explained: “I took delivery of some of DCUK’s wooden ducklings with tartan waistcoats and bow ties, and they had distinctly masculine Scottish names on their name tags like Wallace, Farquhar and Nevin.

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“It got me thinking, the waistcoated ducks could very well be painted in the foundation’s tartan with a name tag bearing Doddie’s name.

“I saw an opportunity to raise money for a charity set up by a local guy who we all know. He’s got a big place in our hearts, has Doddie. Like lots of Borderers, we know the Weir family and have connections through rugby, friendship and business with them.

“I contacted DCUK and we went from there.”

A prototype was made and shipped to DCUK’s team in Indonesia, where the 18cm birds were carved from sustainable bamboo root and hand painted.

The ‘My Name’5 Doddie’ name tag was then applied, before the ducks were sent to the UK by boat.

“It was a bespoke commission, so I had to pay for the order before it went into production - half on ordering and half at delivery,” Fiona explained.

“It’s a lot of money, so I put a wee post out just to gauge interest. I hadn’t really heard of the ‘Doddie Effect’, but I have now!

“I was contacted by people from all over the country about the Doddie duck, as were DCUK, and when I eventually got 200 of them online to sell they sold out in seven minutes.”

Fiona sold the rest in Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall from Wednesday, December 2, but had to limit the number available each day as Covid restrictions meant she could only have two customers in the shop at once.

“There was a queue outside the shop every morning,” she recalled.

“On the first day we sold 100 in three hours, with all of the available ducks sold out by the Monday.

“I had a small contingency amount left in case the post didn’t get the online orders there but I needn’t have worried. The last 30 were snapped up in less than 90 seconds when I put them live.”

The further batch are due to arrive in April, and Fiona expects these too to be very popular. So much so, she’s now working with DCUK to develop a collection, with a new design coming in the summer, and an autumn version also in the making.

"The Doddie duck has such an affect on folk,” Fiona said. “I’ve loved hearing all the lovely stories that people have of him.”