A community-spirited local grandmother who lost her husband earlier this year has come up with a wonderful way to keep her grieving family busy while raising funds for local charities.

Judith Singleton’s beloved husband Nigel died following a short illness, leaving a huge hole in the tight-knit family. Deciding she wanted to channel her energy into something positive, Judith enlisted her six grandchildren into a project any book-lover would appreciate.

“I really wanted something to take my mind off it so decided to start making bookmarks, with the proceeds going to local charities,” said Judith, from Todwick.

“Everyone needs a bookmark, whether it’s for a book, magazine or anything else, so it seemed like great way to keep ourselves busy. 

“My first was a design incorporating Nigel’s favourite Stratocaster guitar, which I showed to my grandchildren, and then they all came up with designs of their own.

“They were all really happy to get on board and I’m so proud of them for their support.”

Judith and her family have so far raised £1,500 to be split between St Lukes and Rotherham hospices, and is now turning her attention to a place she knows very well – Bluebell Wood.

“I used to volunteer at the hospice and would help in any way I could,” Judith added.

“It really is an amazing place and I felt so lucky to be a part of it. To me the ethos of ‘living with love and laughter’ is the best thing ever.

“When my grandchildren came along I had a lot less time on my hands to had to take a step back, but I’m hoping to volunteer there once again when the time is right.”

With the help of grandchildren Ethan, Freya, Lauren, Oliver, Isaac and Hattie, the family now have over 20 bookmarks available, with sales going way beyond family and friends who were the first in line to snap them up.

With designs ranging from local football team emblems to adorable animal friends, there’s something to suit all tastes. Judith's already raised almost £500 for Bluebell Wood and hopes to raise more when shops and cafes, where she previously sold them, reopen to customers.

Sally Baker, Regional Fundraiser for Bluebell Wood, said: “We can’t thank Judith and her family enough for their support at what must be a very difficult time for them.

“It’s been challenging year for us from a fundraising perspective because of the pandemic so the support of amazing people like Judith and her grandchildren is more important than ever.”