Grandma Jean knits together joy for sick Sheffield children

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A former school secretary has knitted more than 2,000 teddies for brave little fighters a Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Grandmother Jean Walker, who is from Handsworth in the city, spends her free time creating the gifts for youngsters, with each one taking about two or three days to make.

The 87-year-old delivers her creations to the hospital in packages of ten and it is estimated she has made over 2,000 teddy bears for unwell children staying in the hospita over a twenty year period.

Brave children are given one of the teddies before or after procedures or operations as a reward for their courage.

Widow and mum-of-two Jean said: “My husband died a year ago but my charity work keeps me going.

“I don’t want publicity- I just want to do something for the kids.

“I just keep knitting - it takes two or three days for each teddy.

“I wish I could volunteer but I’m 87, so that is the most I can do for the moment.

“If the teddies can be a little bit of comfort while the children are staying in hospital then that’s enough.

“I like to do bright colours for the children - I’m glad they like them, that’s all I need.

“I’ve got two children and lots of grandchildren, so anything I can do for Sheffield Children’s, I’ll give it a go,” she said.

Jean also knits blankets for premature babies who are born at the Jessop Wing of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

Play specialist Claire Johnson, who works at the children’s site off Western Bank, said: “It’s just lovely what Jean does, and she does it for nothing.

“The children really like the teddies and are delighted when they get to keep them.”