Sheffield hidden heroes help keep Bluebell Wood children’s hospice going

A group of hidden heroes have been quietly helping children and families facing the toughest of times, raising tens of thousands of pounds for Bluebell Wood.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 10:00 am
Ann Clarke is raring to get going on fundraising again

The charity’s North Sheffield Support Group have been supporters since the hospice was a distant dream.

Their journey began after hearing a talk on the ambitious plan for a much-needed facility to serve families in South Yorkshire and beyond.

In 2003, husband and wife teams Ann and Peter Clarke and Robert and Christine Godber formed Bluebell Wood’s North Sheffield Support Group. The group, which now has 19 members, have been fundraising ever since.

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Now they’re itching to get back to work for Bluebell Wood when it’s safe to do so.

They’ve been baking cakes to raise awareness of the charity’s #LetsPledge campaign to encourage people to pledge spare time to the charity.

Ann Clarke, originally from Oughtibridge but now living in Dore, co-launched the support group in 2003 after joining supporters to lobby MPs in Parliament for more funding for hospices.

“I felt this was something we desperately needed and wanted to be part of it. Straight away I became a volunteer,” said the 82-year-old great grandmother.

“I began helping to raise funds and increase awareness by giving talks – and that’s what I’m still doing, 18 years on.

“In those early days, people had no idea what the plan for Bluebell Wood was, or even what a children’s hospice was.

“It’s thankfully very different today but it’s still so important to encourage people’s support,” said Ann.

The group volunteer at hospice events, collect donations at football matches, hold stalls at fairs and events and give talks to other groups about Bluebell Wood’s work.

“The summer months are one of our busiest times of the year and we’ve all really missed not being able to help,” said Ann.

“I have met wonderful people doing amazing things to raise money, made many friends and been to lots of interesting places and events. It’s helped to keep me young at heart.

“But what makes it even more worthwhile are the families who have been helped by Bluebell Wood.”

Find out more at www.bluebellwood.org/letspledge or call 01909 517360.

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