Bluebelles keeping founders memory alive top £75,000 aid raised for Gwent hospice

A Gwent group which continued its tireless fundraising in memory of its founder throughout the pandemic has topped £75,000 and shows no sign of stopping until it reaches its goal.

The Bluebelles team raises money for Newport-based St David’s Hospice Care  in memory of the late Jackie Lewis who herself worked tirelessly to raise funds in memory of her son Steve.

The Gwent-based Bluebelles fundraisers, named by its founder after the spring flowers they saw on their first sponsored walk at Cwmbran Boating lake,  were honoured for their outstanding work with a celebration event at the hospice in  Blackett Avenue, Malpas.

Jackie Lewis’ son, Matt, recognising the achievements, said: “My Mum would be so proud that this target was hit. My Mum and her friends started this group when my brother passed away . The marvellous St David’s Hospice Care allowed Steve to pass away pain free and with his dignity intact.

“The hospice turned a negative into a positive. Through quizzes, auctions, entertainment, they have been able to raise £75,000.  After my Mother, Jackie,  passed away her friends Sue, Gill and Mo, continued to fundraise through raffles and then limited quizzes etc due to Covid. They have done an incredible job in raising thousands more since my mum unfortunately passed.

“St David’s Hospice Care is such an amazing charity in our community. I’ve seen firsthand how they treat their patients. It’s how health care should strive to be. I will be forever in their debt at how St David’s Hospice Care treated my brother and Mum.”

Sue Murphy, a member of the Bluebelles group which also includes Gill Shaw, Mo Pidgeon and Matt Lewis, said: “Our dear friend, Jackie Lewis set up the group after she lost her son Steve, to cancer, aged 31.

“Unfortunately, Jackie herself, also passed away with cancer.  St David’s Hospice Care cared for them both.  We, as friends, agreed to carry on fundraising in both their names, Jackie’s son Matt also joined our team.

“We are very proud to keep on fundraising in memory of Jackie and Steve. We really can’t thank all our supporters enough. It has been really difficult during the pandemic and we have had to cancel a few events.  We managed to do Christmas and Easter Raffles with people paying online. Also, last year, we had coffee mornings outside in a garden, for a few people.

“We have set ourselves a target of raising £80,000, with no timescale.  We are running an Easter Raffle at the moment and hopefully we will be having a quiz night in June. We have held quiz nights, music nights, walks, raffles and coffee mornings to raise the funds.

“We’re thrilled that we have reached the milestone of £75,000 for St David’s Hospice Care and just know Jackie would be very proud of what we have achieved in her and Steve’s name.”

Trustee Jim Thompson, of St David’s Hospice Care, said: “I and everyone at the hospice continues to be astounded at the tremendous work Bluebelles have put in to raise £75,000 for the hospice. I know Jackie and her dear son Steve would have been thrilled to bits and very proud of their momentous achievement.

“It’s amazing what the Bluebelles have done. Thank you for all your very hard work.”