Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice brings Bonfire Night fun to family homes with virtual fireworks show

The second national lockdown might have snuffed out many of Bassetlaw’s Bonfire Night celebrations, but Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in North Anston made sure it was still a day to remember.

By Ed Dingwall
Monday, 9th November 2020, 3:28 pm
Updated Monday, 9th November 2020, 3:35 pm

In ordinary times, the hospice would have been filled with smiling faces on November 5 as families chatted over hot chocolate and activities before they gathering for a fireworks display adapted for children with complex needs.

The coronavirus pandemic made such an event impossible but the charity still pulled out all the stops to make sure they still had the chance to make precious memories.

Family support manager Sally Wilcock said: “Occasions such as this are incredibly important to the families in our care, many of whom miss out on the milestones so many of us take for granted, such as a child learning to walk or talk.

The Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice Bonfire Night experience featured a dancer from Rational Arts and a huge fireworks display courtesy of Fantastic Fireworks.

“That’s why we were determined to make sure they didn’t miss out after a year in which they’ve already made so many sacrifices to keep their children safe.”

Thanks to a £1,000 grant from the Create a Dream Foundation, the hospice broadcast a firework show to families’ homes which had been filmed in the hospice gardens, complete with a fire dancer.

To enhance the experience, families also received a special care package to take part in a night of crafts and baking.

Among those enjoying the fun from home was eight-year-old Amelia Rhodes-Harrop, who has a life-shortening condition and visits Bluebell Wood for respite care.

Mum Jennie Harrop-Rhodes said: “It was obviously different to normal years and we wish we could be there in person, but this was a lovely way to get people together. Amelia absolutely loved it.”

Sheffield charity Create a Dream regularly works with Bluebell Wood to create special family experiences.

Trustee Matt Peace said: “It’s been a difficult year for all charities. We’ve had a year of planning, rearranging and postponing dreams to 2021.

“When we heard about the idea of a socially distanced experience we jumped at the chance. We hope it was well received by the children and thanks our fundraisers for making it possible.”

The hospice plans to share the video with local schools so more children have the chance to enjoy it.