A community spirited nine-year-old has raised a staggering £1,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice through her rescue chickens’ deliciously popular ‘rainbow eggs’.

Kind-hearted Lucy Broughton began by delivering boxes of her multi-coloured eggs free of charge to elderly and vulnerable residents during lockdown earlier this year. But when the grateful recipients insisted on paying for the lovely gesture, Lucy’s parents Bill and Fay Broughton decided to donate the proceeds to charity.

Proud mum Fay Broughton, from Retford, said: “When we started out, and it was becoming clear that lockdown was on its way, we brought in the extra chickens as we thought there would be many people locally who just wouldn’t have access to such fresh produce.

“When Lucy started delivering them, it quickly became apparent that people wouldn’t accept them for free so we asked her if she’d like to donate the proceeds to a charity and she insisted on Bluebell Wood.”

“We know Bluebell Wood to be a fantastic local charity and we knew the funds raised would be very welcome in a year when so many fundraising events have been cancelled.”

Lucy’s freshly laid eggs were a hit immediately, and she now has several regular customers who keep coming back for more. As well as her deliveries, Lucy also has a stall at the end of the Broughtons’ garden where people can collect the eggs and leave payment.

“There’s a lady who just had her 89th birthday who has a dozen delivered every couple of weeks,” added Fay.

“We’ve had so many lovely messages too from people about Lucy and what she’s being doing and we’re all very proud of her.”

The family, who already kept 14 chickens, rescued another 30 when the seriousness of the virus became clear. Their hens are a variety of breeds and so produce different coloured eggs, which led to the Broughtons dubbing them rainbow eggs.

As we move into autumn and the nights are drawing in, the chickens are producing fewer eggs – so Lucy was determined to reach her  £1,000 target before winter. The enterprising Ranby House School pupil has even been making and selling handmade cards to make sure she would reach her ambitious target.

As if that was not enough, Lucy plans to top up her impressive total later this year with the proceeds from turkeys she’s been looking after since they hatched in June.

Melanie Rose, Bluebell Wood’s Regional Fundraiser for Retford and North Nottinghamshire, said: “It’s such a wonderfully thoughtful thing to do and we can’t thank Lucy enough for all the time and effort she has put into it.

“As well as lifting the spirits of those unable to get out these past few months, she’s raised an incredible sum of money which will help us support local families who are going through some of the most difficult times imaginable.

“Lucy is a real inspiration and should be very proud of what she’s achieved.”

Bluebell Wood cares for children from across North Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, and is reliant on its amazing fundraisers to raise the £5.1m each year to keep its doors open.