Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice’s Christmas elves have been sprinkling magic and making unforgettable memories as they made special deliveries to families across the region.

The charity held its show-stopping Christmas party early in December, but recognising that not all the families in its care could attend, the charity was keen to spread an extra bit of festive magic.

So it was huge smiles all round as the charity’s elves delivered gifts and bucket loads of Covid-safe festive cheer to children and young people across the region. With around 50 visits and hundreds of miles covered through South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire by the eager elves, children and families were over the moon when the special visitors arrived.

Thomas Gascoyne, 13, has a complex, life-shortening condition and has been supported by Bluebell Wood  for several years. His condition means that he’s not able to enjoy many of the festive experiences we often take for granted, so the doorstep visit was a very welcome surprise.

“We don’t want to go the busy places at the moment as Thomas is so poorly so the visit really helped us get into the Christmas spirit,” said mum Claire Gascoyne, from Dronfield.

“It was really, really lovely and it felt like a weight lifted off our shoulders to be able have that festive experience with Thomas and his brother.”

Nine-year-old Amelia, who has cerebral palsy and spastic asymmetric quadriplegia, visits the hospice for short breaks and was beaming from ear to ear when the elves knocked on her door.

“I decided not to tell Amelia this year so it was a lovely surprise for her when she answered the door and there were two elves there with gifts!” said mum Jenni, from Penistone.

“She absolutely loved it and it was very nice to see some familiar faces too.”

Preston and his family were similarly impressed when Bluebell Wood’s elves arrived. The 15-year-old has a rare degenerative condition and his family rely on Bluebell Wood’s support.

“Preston loves anything to do with Christmas so the elves’ visit was very welcome,” said mum Laura, from Sheffield.

“He loved the visit and he always enjoys getting presents too. Thank you for making it happen.”

Ella Frith, 18, from Rotherham, has been confined to her bed recovering from an operation so she was delighted to see some familiar, if elvish, faces!

Mum Joanne said: “For us we’re not really able to get out at all at the minute so the visit was absolutely fantastic.

“It made her day and it was lovely to see some familiar faces from Bluebell Wood after not being able to attend the Christmas party.

“She’s not been feeling great with the confinement after her operation so it really cheered her up.”

Emma Doughty, Head of Family Support at Bluebell Wood, said: “The families in our care sadly never know how many more Christmases they’ll get to spend with one another so every year we pull out all the stops to make it as magical as possible.

“We’re delighted to hear that our elves were so well received and that plenty of special memories were made along the way.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to all our supporters in the community for making it possible – thanks to your kindness we really can make Christmas dreams come true.”

There are many ways people can help Bluebell Wood make precious memories all year round, such as signing up to the charity’s Christmas tree recycling service.

For a £10 donation, the charity will collect real Christmas trees from outside people’s homes across the region and then recycle them in an ethical and environmentally friendly way. 

Book your collection here