A Sheffield mum who said her heartbreaking final goodbye to her eight-year-old boy at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice is giving back to the charity that ‘surrounded them with lots of love’.

Claire Malcolmson’s son, affectionately known as Mr Joe, had a progressive genetic condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which meant he needed round the clock care. The family visited the hospice for several years for respite care and support, making countless memories that Claire will always treasure.

Now, to help raise funds for the hospice, Claire has designed and crafted a unique and beautiful range of keyring charms. There are several designs of the limited-edition charms – which all come mounted on a presentation card explaining Joe and Claire’s journey – and are available here.

From the moment Claire and Joe first visited Bluebell Wood in 2008, they knew they’d found a ‘home from home’.

 “I was really scared and was so worried it would be just like being in hospital, where Joe had spent so much of his little life. But from the minute you walk through the doors, you realise it’s just like being at home,” said Claire.

“Bringing him to Bluebell Wood meant that he could stay with the nurses while I got some much-needed sleep. I have a chronic kidney condition too which means I have to undergo dialysis so having that extra help and support really was life-changing.

“For me, leaving Joe with other people was really difficult. But I knew he was always safe in the amazing hands of Bluebell Wood’s Care Team.”

After Joe passed away in 2015, she stayed with her little boy in one of the hospice’s end-of-life-suites.

“It gave me precious time to spend with my beautiful boy until his celebration, which meant more than I can put into words.

“Joe didn’t always understand things, due to having a large bleed on his brain at birth causing neurological problems - but he knew when a voice was angry, happy or loving. At Bluebell Wood he was always surrounded by lots of love.

“I’ll always be grateful to Bluebell Wood for making my time with my amazing Mr Joe the best ever, and I’ll always do whatever I can to help so that other families can receive the same love, care and support that we did.”

Claire first started making charms to raise funds for Bluebell Wood after attending the hospice’s bereavement group.

“Being a single mum I was up every three hours through the night for Joe’s care, and after he passed away it doesn’t just stop overnight,” she said.

“I didn’t have a reason or purpose for being awake so it seemed like a really good way to make use of the  time.

“When I showed them to other parents at the bereavement group at Bluebell Wood there were quite a few who wanted one for themselves, and it just built from there with various requests.

“It’s now been six years since Joe passed away and you do fear that everyone is going to forget him. 

“So as well as helping the place that did so much for us, this is a way of keeping Joe’s memory alive.”