Children's stories Courtney's story Courtney, who has muscular dystrophy, shares her Bluebell Wood story. “I love going to Bluebell Wood. I like cooking with the chefs, spending time in the art room and everything about the place. It’s a break from my brothers. Before I went, I was nervous and wouldn’t let anyone but my mum do things for me. But from the first day, I loved it,” said Courtney. When Bluebell Wood was first suggested to Courtney’s family, they were anxious and worried. They saw the word ‘hospice’ and thought the worst as they didn’t know what to expect. Courtney’s mum, Amanda, said; “When we got there it was so eye-opening and we didn’t expect it to be the way it is – friendly and open. Before going to Bluebell Wood, Courtney didn’t want to go anywhere without us, but as soon as we walked through the door she looked at both of us and said she wanted to stay.” Courtney attends Bluebell Wood’s young adults group and enjoys her respite periods at the hospice. “Our biggest fear about leaving Courtney anywhere was letting go of the responsibility and trust of caring for her to someone else, but we trust Bluebell Wood to do that,” said Amanda. “Bluebell Wood isn’t a place to be scared of and it’s like a home from home for us. Not many people understand what it’s like to support a child with complex needs so Bluebell Wood is a place where you can meet other parents who understand.” Courtney and her family appreciate the support they receive from Bluebell Wood staff, as nothing ever seems like too much trouble. The hospice gives Courtney independence as she’s growing up. “For anyone who is thinking of donating to Bluebell Wood, I’d saydo it because it’s the best place in the world. It’s better than goingon holiday and it helps a lot of children,” added Courtney. “Bluebell Wood makes you feel like you can do anything, they don’t just leave you out and say “you’re too sick to join in”, they find a way to help you do it,” – Courtney.