Friday 23rd October 2020

In light of the recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus) announcements and Tier 3 restrictions being put into place across South Yorkshire (Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield) from October 24th, our Chief Executive Simon Hills would like to provide the following update:

“Throughout the pandemic the safety of the families in our care, as well as that of our staff and volunteers, has been fundamental in every decision we have made.

“This is why, mindful of the fact that South Yorkshire has now been moved into Tier 3, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel any planned respite care and short breaks at home for the next 28 days (as of October 24th) in line with Government guidance and the more specific restrictions set by local authorities.

“We will still be providing end-of-life care and emergency symptom management at the hospice and in family’s homes during this time, taking all necessary precautions to keep everyone as safe as possible.

“We appreciate that this will be disappointing for those families looking forward to visiting the hospice or having a short break at home, but please rest assured we will continue to do all we can to be there for the families in our care in different ways.

“Over the past few months we have successfully adapted the way we work to ensure families can still access many of our services, such as counselling and support groups, remotely. This ‘virtual’ care will continue and we will be available on the phone 24/7 for anyone who needs a friendly ear.

“It’s certainly been a rollercoaster of a year for all of us, and there will be many more challenges to come, so we’d like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and support in these uncertain times.”


Thursday 16th July 2020

We've updated our COVID 19 risk assessment for the hospice, which you can find here: 

Our Chief Executive, Simon Hills, has issued the following updated statement regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation:

Our number one priority over the past few months has been the safety of the families in our care, as well that of our staff, volunteers and supporters.

That is why we took the difficult decision to suspend our face-to-face care and support in March, such as respite care, short breaks, wellbeing groups and events. We quickly adapted to a virtual model, offering counselling, sibling support and activity sessions remotely for each and every family in our care.

Throughout the pandemic we have also continued to provide emergency and end-of-life care, both at the hospice and in people’s homes.

The safety of the families in our care remains our top priority, but as government guidelines change and shielding for the most vulnerable is to be paused, we are now in a position where we can begin to welcome families back to the hospice for much-needed respite care from the 3rd August. This will also extend to short breaks where we provide respite care in the community. The details of both hospice visits and short breaks in the community will be communicated to all the families we support directly.

This is something we have been carefully planning throughout the pandemic, and our approach will be cautious and gradual to make sure we’re doing it in as safe a way as possible.

We know there are families who would love nothing more than to return to the hospice or have a short break at home, while others may choose to continue shielding. Whatever these families decide, we will be there for them in every way we can.

While we will be welcoming families back to the hospice very soon, we are continuing to restrict visitors to the hospice for the time being, which is currently limited to essential staff and the parents/ carers of children and young people visiting us for care. This is under continual review as we adapt to be gradual easing of lockdown measures.

Finally, we are continuing to work hard on our recovery plan, which will include the reopening of our shops and other community initiatives, as well as welcoming staff and volunteers back to the hospice.

Each and every step we take forward is being informed by the latest government and NHS guidance, and always with the safety of our families, staff and volunteers at the forefront of our minds.

On behalf of all at Bluebell Wood, we’d like to thank you all for your patience, understanding and support in these difficult times, and we look forward to seeing you soon.


Tuesday 30th June 2020

Our Chief Executive, Simon Hills, has issued the following updated statement regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation:

As we move into the next phase of the pandemic and lockdown requirements are eased a little, it remains vital we all continue to work together to minimise the spread of the virus and protect and shield the most vulnerable. This includes the children and young people who use our services.

At the point of the lockdown in March, we suspended our planned face-to-face care and support, such as short breaks, wellbeing groups and events. Moving swiftly to a virtual model of support, we have kept in contact with each and every family who uses our services, providing counselling, sibling support and activity sessions remotely.

During this period, we have provided end of life care and bereavement support for children and their families at home and in the hospice. We have also responded to urgent requests for care and support both for children at home and in the hospice and will continue to do so as safely as we can.

We have restricted visitors to our hospices, other than the parents or carer/s of children and young people receiving care from us. We will continue to review our visiting policy as the progress of the virus and best practice guidance develops.

The government’s announcement of additional support for all hospices in England was very welcome news. It recognised the key role charitable care providers like Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice play in delivering specialist nursing care and wellbeing support to so many hundreds of children and families. This funding will be critical to protecting and supporting what we do.

We are now working hard on the detail of our recovery plan, including the safe return of short breaks and respite care, and how we can bring staff and volunteers back to both our hospice and shops, whenever and however that may be.

There is lots to consider on behalf of our families, staff, volunteers and supporters, but we will make sure that we follow all the relevant government guidance and be ready in absolutely the safest way possible as we move forward.


Wednesday 18th March 2020

Our Chief Executive, Simon Hills, has issued the following statement regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation:

“I know this is an incredibly difficult and uncertain time for everyone, not least for the families we support who are caring for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in our society.

“As a charity focused on helping families make precious memories in the time they have together, the wellbeing of those in our care will always be our top priority. This, of course, extends to our brilliant staff and all our amazing volunteers and supporters who make our life-changing work possible.

“This is why, guided by the latest Public Health England and Government advice, we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all planned respite care at the hospice and in the community until further notice.

“In practice this means we are now asking families, volunteers and supporters not to visit the hospice unless we have directly advised them otherwise.

“In the weeks ahead it is absolutely vital that we are in a position to deliver emergency and end of life to care to families wherever possible, which is why it is so important that we take all reasonable steps to protect those in our care. In addition, we’re making sure that our Care Team will always be available over the phone to offer advice and support to every family who uses Bluebell Wood, no matter what time of day or night. We’re also working to make sure, where possible, we can deliver our services in different ways over the coming months.

“We are truly humbled by the incredible support network we have locally - without you the life-changing work we do on a daily basis simply wouldn’t be possible. Thank you for all you do to make Bluebell Wood such a wonderful place. In the challenging weeks and months ahead, Bluebell Wood and the families in our care will, as always, need your support to help families going through unimaginably tough times.”


Coronavirus: guidance on visiting our hospice/shops

The symptoms of coronavirus may be more severe in people with weakened immune systems and those with life-shortening and life-threatening illnesses.

It is important that we take all reasonable steps to protect those using our services, as well as those working and volunteering at our sites.

We are asking families, volunteers and supporters not to visit the hospice unless we have directly advised them otherwise. We also request that all staff, volunteers, contractors and supporters consider whether they could be a potential carrier of the coronavirus before visiting our shops. If you are feeling generally unwell, we politely ask you not to visit our sites to protect those in our care.

For the latest information and guidance on the coronavirus you can visit:

Avoid catching or spreading germs

You can help to stop the spread of any germs by:

  • catching your cough or sneeze in a tissue – bin used tissues straight away
  • washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing (use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are unavailable)
  • avoiding close contact with people who are unwell
  • not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Information correct as of 23/10/2020