A community champion known as Mrs Fudge is hoping to cook up a storm on her latest fundraising mission.
Debbie Delday is well known in the islands for her fundraising work which has seen local charities benefit by around £70,000 in recent years.
She has earned the nickname Mrs Fudge for her knack of making the sweet treat to raise funds and is now a part time fundraising coordinator for the Orkney Drugs Dog charity.
Mrs Delday combines her charity work with her role helping children as an early year lead practitioner (early intervention) and this year will mark 25 years working for Orkney Islands Council, mostly at Papdale Primary School.
Her charity efforts began with a baking fundraiser in 2007 for Orkney Kidney Patient Association (OKPA) and since then she has supported a range of organisations including Clan cancer support, Macmillan, Orkney Charitable Trust, Samaritans, Orkney Food Bank, Stromness Shopping Week, Maggie’s Highlands, Aberdeen Cyrenians and MND Scotland.
‘Mrs Fudge will continue’
Last year alone she made more than 1,600 bags of fudge, raising in excess of £3,000 for Clan Orkney, and overall during 2020 she raised more than £15,000 for eight charities.
Her new role will help Orkney Drugs Dog which is supported by fundraising to provide a trained dog and a handler.
Mrs Delday, 43, who received the Community Service Award from the Orkney Rotary Club in 2018, said: “For a few years now I have felt more and more interested in charity work and feel this will be a lovely addition to my role at Papdale.
“Mrs Fudge will continue, though much of the fundraising will now take place in my new position. The good news is, there will still be fudge fundraisers ahead.”
She added: “I am extremely lucky to have such a lot of supportive friends, family, colleagues and the general public.”
When Covid forced much of her fundraising online, she was “blown away” by the ongoing support she received.
The confectionery creator said: “Even in the midst of a world pandemic, I had offers of prizes, with many saying to come back again should they be able to help, as well as many individuals who have donated to my fundraisers.”
Andrew Drever, chairman of Orkney Drugs Dog, said: “We are delighted to have Debbie on board. We look forward to working with Debbie to both raise our profile and to expand our fundraising activity.”
The charity was involved in the seizure of drugs valued at £62,000 in Orkney last year, part of the £250,000 worth of drugs and cash recovered by detection dogs in the Northern and Western Isles.
In October, Class A drugs with an estimated street value of more than £10,000 were recovered with the assistance of the charity.
The council has also thanked Mrs Delday for her work at the school and in the community.
Education, leisure and housing committee chair Councillor Gwenda Shearer said: “It is folk like Debbie who not only give our bairns the best possible start in their journey through school, but also show them the worth of community spirit and just how much one person can achieve when they set their heart and mind on something.”