Blue Peter badge honours inspiration of tragic Verity Young

IT WAS one ambition that she was never able to realise in her short life.

• Verity's mum Laura with her sisters of Nina (10 - pictured left) and Isla (3 - front) and Verity's best friend Kate Harrison

Eight-year-old Verity Young loved Blue Peter and always hoped one day to win one of the programme's coveted badges.

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Now the girl who inspired hundreds of people to donate blood has finally achieved her dream – five months after losing her battle with cancer.

Her family have been presented with a rare Blue Peter Gold Badge in her honour.

Her mother Laura, 41, said today: "Verity had always wanted a Blue Peter badge, but we never got round to sending her art work away or anything like that.

"Unfortunately she was never able to be presented with it, but she would be absolutely tickled about it, she would love it."

The eight-year-old from the New Town passed away at a children's hospice in November after a battle with cancer and auto-immune disease Lupus.

Verity, who attended both Cargilfield School and Fettes College, relied on numerous blood donations to keep her alive, and was determined to repay the donor service.

She organised events at school and elsewhere which encouraged hundreds to start giving blood. One event alone at Cargilfield attracted 120 first-time donors.

Her one-girl campaign prompted the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service in Edinburgh to nominate her for a Blue Peter award.

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Mrs Young added: "In hospital, Verity could see the blood transfusion van coming in and out.

"She chatted to the nurses about it and knew the worth of it to her. It is something we've kept going in her memory. It's snowballed.

"We've taken the badge around school to show other children and it's been displayed at assembly."

Verity's family, including sisters Nina, 10, and Isla, three, and her best friend eight-year-old Kate, now bring out the framed badge on special occasions.

Staff at the Edinburgh blood donor centre are planning their own special "tea pot tribute" to Verity in honour of her success.

An SNBTS spokeswoman said: "This is a prestigious award. Verity loved tea, and teapots, so we will all be will be toasting her success with an extra cuppa in Edinburgh Donor Centre."