Bluebell Wood mum volunteers for jail time

A Chesterfield mum has volunteered to go to prison to help the charity that makes a big difference to her family.

George, Evie and Charlie

Anna Tesdale will be spending time behind bars on 4 April to raise money for Bluebell Wood, which supports her 16-year-old son Charlie and the whole family.

Along with other volunteer inmates, Anna will be taking part in the Jail n’ Bail event by spending time in a cell at the Lifewise Centre, Hellaby. Anna will need donations from friends, family and other supporters to reach her bail target and be released as quickly as possible.

Anna said: “From when he was two years old, I knew Charlie was different. He was developmentally challenged and got bullied a lot. Finally, in 2017 we found out that he has hereditary spastic paraplegia. He can walk on flat ground but not on uneven ground, and he gets tired easily. He can get up five to seven times a night and needs almost 24-hour support.

“Our community nurse suggested Bluebell Wood to us, but the thought of a hospice scared me. I was introduced to a counsellor there and at first I thought it wasn’t for me, but I now see a counsellor every week, which really helps. Charlie started coming to the hospice in June and he loved it. He loves the bath, and at music therapy he gets to practice his guitar.

Anna and her son Charlie

“At Bluebell Wood I feel supported. Getting to know parents who understand is so important. They get that some days are just really bad. I hate using the word normal, but that’s how I feel at Bluebell Wood. I’ve been to some great social events with other families and it’s great to hang out with them and just remember who I am.

“If I feel stressed I go for a walk in the Bluebell Wood garden and watch the brook. I take a deep breath and I know it’s going to be OK. Now I know Bluebell Wood really is the best thing to come out of such a bad situation. They really do support the whole family. I can bring my mum or friends and we all feel like part of the family.

“When I heard about Jail n’ Bail I thought it would be nice to give something back to the hospice, as they’ve supported us so much. I’m excited and really looking forward to doing something different. I’ve started fundraising already so I hope I can reach my total when I’m behind bars.”

If you’d like to sponsor Anna and help her get out of jail as quickly as possible, please visit

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