12:55PM, Saturday 21 March 2015
A selfless grandmother raised £10,000 for the Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service (ADCHS) after spending 22 months knitting cuddly toys.
Colleen Walker visited the charity in White Waltham on Wednesday, March 11, to hand over the cheque.
The 79-year-old came up with the idea to sell Minions, characters from the hit movie Despicable Me, after her granddaughter Claire requested a cuddly version.
"I decided to knit five to see how it went, and they just took off," said Colleen, who was taught to knit by her mother.
"At one fair we sold out in 15 minutes, we just couldn't keep up. However many we take to a sale, we know they will sell."
The mother-of-three had decided to stop fundraising in 2013 due to her age, but after meeting Susie Knowles, community fundraiser for Alexander Devine, at a Christmas fair in 2013, she changed her mind.
The former children's nurse, who lives in Newbury, said: "On the drive home I turned to my daughter and said 'I can't give up now, we have got to help them.'"
"Every single penny we raise goes to them because the cause is so dear to my heart."
Fiona Devine, co-founder of the charity, said: "It is an amazing amount of money for such a small volunteering group to raise.
"Colleen is an incredibly special person to us, not only for the fundraising but the way she speaks so passionately about the charity."
The grandmother-of-five has a team of 12 family and friends who help knit and sell the minions, which each take four hours to create.
Having already raised £10,000 and with a fresh batch of toys ready for when the new Minions movie is released in July, Colleen's friends joked that she could have become a very wealthy woman.
"I don't want to be rich," she said. "I want to do something which keeps Alexander Devine going, so they can carry on the wonderful job they do for the children."
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