A Worksop family have paid a moving and emotional tribute to the ‘light of their lives’ to mark what would have been his 18th birthday.

The family’s world came crashing down in 2016 when previously healthy teenager Lewis Cranfield was diagnosed with a brain tumour. After a courageous battle, the 14-year-old passed away in December 2017 at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, surrounded by his family.

Now, in the month he would have turned 18, the family took on a sponsored walk and litter pick in memory of the young man who brought them “such joy and filled our hearts with love”.

With mum and dad Amelia and Shaun, siblings Imogen, Holly and Hansel and grandparents Carol and Geoff Dixon all taking on the sponsored walk from the Lock Keeper in Worksop to Bluebell Wood, it was very much a family affair. The poignant challenge came just days after they gathered for a sponsored litter pick at one of nature-loving Lewis’ favourite beauty spots.

“Without Bluebell Wood, it would have been so much worse for us all,” said Amelia, 39, from Worksop.

“Bluebell Wood was there for Lewis when he really needed it – but not just for him - they were there for us as a family, especially his sisters.

“We didn’t tell the girls straight away that he was terminally ill; we just didn’t know how to put it to them. But Bluebell Wood showed us how, and helped us explain it to them as a family.

“We made some wonderful memories at Bluebell Wood together and we couldn’t have asked for anything else to make us feel more comfortable.

“That’s why we really wanted to do something as our way of saying thank you. He loved the outdoors and we all felt that he was there with us throughout the walk. I know he would be so proud of us.

“Bluebell Wood is an absolutely amazing place. From the staff to the volunteers and everyone involved, they’re just amazing people.”

From a very early age, St Giles Special School pupil Lewis had a keen interest in the outdoors and loved nature. He was especially interested in birds and would always take his binoculars on walks and holidays to the family caravan.

So his family wanted to do something that reflected his interests and his kind-hearted and good-natured personality.

“Right from the start the emphasis at Bluebell was about Lewis enjoying his time and being with his  family,” said grandma Carol Dixon, from Worksop.

“Everything was catered to his needs as a teenager. When his symptoms became worse and couldn’t be controlled at home, Lewis refused to go into hospital but was happy to go into Bluebell Wood as he knew we could all be with him.

“He had a visit from his team Sheffield United, enjoyed plays and theatre groups and towards the end of his weeks he had his very own Christmas at the hospice.

“Bluebell Wood even allowed Lewis to take his African Grey parrot Shadow to stay with him, and she kept us all amused!

“That’s why we’re remembering Lewis as a family by raising funds in his memory. Bluebell Wood was there for us all and it’s so important that they will be able to continue to help other children and families in the future.”

The family have raised over £1,000 with their moving fundraiser, with donations still coming in. 

Jason Gossop, Regional Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood, said: “I’d like say a sincere thank you to Lewis’ amazing family for marking what would have been his 18th in such a beautifully moving way.

“It’s clear that he was a wonderful young man and I have no doubt at all that he’d be incredibly proud of you all for what you’ve achieved.

“Thanks to your support we can continue to be a light in the darkness for the families who need us.”

You can help us be there for families like Lewis' here