Thanks to the support of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Claire Malcolmson spent six years making precious memories with her son Joe until it was time to say their final goodbyes in 2015.

Claire has raised £8,227.95 for Bluebell Wood since her son died nine years ago. Her fundraising journey began in 2016, taking on challenges such as a fire walk, abseil and most recently, a wild swim which she did on the 4th of May.

Joe’s journey began when Claire gave birth much earlier than expected. After his birth, Joe was resuscitated, ventilated, and popped into an incubator. He was an incredibly brave boy with a range of complex conditions; having been born with anophalmia, which means he hasn’t got any eyes, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Claire and Joe received care from Bluebell Wood in 2008.

Claire said, “The care we received at Bluebell Wood was wonderful, it allowed me to have a break, Joe and I were able to cuddle in the hydro pool and they took us to the seaside for the first time. It allowed us to make really nice memories together. 

“I still remember the chef, John, making the most wonderful meals and having my own health issues, he always made sure to meet my dietary requirements. It was difficult caring for Joe as I was on dialysis, which often made me tired, but then the care team looked after Joe when I needed a break.

“Bluebell Wood was like a second home for me and being a single mum, the staff supported me throughout the whole of Joe’s life, and I will be forever grateful for that. 

“This spurred me to fundraise because I wanted to give back.” 

Claire's recent wild swim, which took place on what would have been Joe’s 17th Birthday, raised almost £700.

When asked why she chose a wild swim, Claire said, “I want to do things people typically don’t usually do, it draws in attention and allows me to raise more money. I also really enjoy doing it.”

Courtney Beddingham, Regional Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood said, “We are so grateful for Claire’s support and want to say a huge thank you for all her amazing fundraising.

“Joe’s story will always be a wonderfully memorable one for everyone here at Bluebell Wood. Claire is a true inspiration for us all and the work we do to help families at the toughest times imaginable.”

If you’d like to fundraise for Bluebell Wood and be part of helping to support families like Claire’s, contact our fundraising team today at [email protected] or visit our fundraising pages for more information.