Grandma joins Santa safari to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice

Jill Lee, 58, with her grandson Jack Kirsopp, eight, at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Jill Lee, 58, with her grandson Jack Kirsopp, eight, at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

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A Doncaster grandmother was the first person to sign up for special fundraising event which is raising money for the hospice that cares for her grandson.

Jill Lee, 58, from Bessacarr, is taking part in a Santa safari at Yorkshire Wildlife Park to raise funds for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice which has supported Jack Kirsopp since he was born in 2006.

Jack, eight, from Cantley, was born with a range of severe and complex medical issues, including three cardiac arrests.

He is unable to swallow so is fed via a tube directly into his stomach and also has a tracheostomy to aid his breathing.

His conditions mean that he requires round the clock specialist treatment. including suction, while he is awake.

He visits Bluebell Wood to allow his family to have have a rest, knowing that he is in safe hands

Jill, whose family run a garden centre in Branton, said: “Bluebell Wood have supported us through some very difficult times which is why I’m asking everyone to join us and sign up for this fabulous event to help raise money for the hospice to help more families like ours.

“You never expect to have a child or grandchild with such complex needs and the hospice has been a lifeline to us, without it I don’t know how our family would have coped.”

Despite Jack’s medical needs he is a happy, bubbly little boy and Jill recently took him to the Wildlife Park.

He had a wonderful time hanging out with the giraffes and visiting the newest addition to the park, Victor the polar bear – the only one in the country.

Joasia Lesniak, corporate fundraiser at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice said: “Our first ever Santa Safari last year was a huge success so we are bringing it back and we’re asking everyone to come and join in with this wonderful family event to get you in the Christmas spirit.

“You get to stay in the park for the whole day so it’s a great value family day out which also raises funds for local children with a shortened life expectancy.”

The Santa Safari is free to all. It will take place on Sunday December 7 at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Brockholes Lane, Branton.

Every adult taking part will get a Santa suit and children will get a flashing nose and antlers.

The park opens at 10am. The treasure hunt is expected to take two hours, but visitors are invited to stay in the park until it closes at 4pm.