Soft toys helping hospice support children

A troupe of teddies are helping Barnsley Hospice support children to cope when a loved one is terminally ill.

174 furry bears, gifted from Barnsley-based law firm Howells Solicitors, are being used by the hospice’s family support team to help youngsters communicate their feelings.

Children are encouraged to leave notes to loved ones in the bears’ little backpacks, and patients can reply in the same way.

Zoe Dransfield, family support worker at Barnsley Hospice, said: “Sometimes young children can be a little fearful when they see someone they love so poorly, and consequently they might find it hard to talk to them, or say how they feel. Using the bears in this way enables them to communicate on their level, and have important conversations at what is often a distressing time.”

The teddies were paid for by Howells as part of a £3,000 donation, which will be used to help the charity care for patients and their loved ones.

Howells Solicitors are also taking part in the hospice’s Make a Will Month in February, and undertaking various fundraising activities, after naming Barnsley Hospice their ‘charity of the year’ for 2018.

Abbie Churchill, family solicitor at Howells, said: “Barnsley Hospice holds a special place in the hearts of Barnsley people who are always very generous, giving vital donations when Howells are out collecting at events. It was our pleasure and privilege to help fund the cost of the teddies.”

Donations from the Barnsley business community help the hospice raise the £2.2m it needs each year to provide care for patients and their families. A further £1.6m is provided by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). 

Photograph: Abbie Churchill of Howells Solicitors with Zoe Dransfield