Helen's Story

Helen’s Story

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Robert John Blewett was a bright, intelligent, fit and fun loving man who worked as a scientist for Unilever research in Port Sunlight. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in November 1995 and sadly died on 24th August 1996.

He was 26 and he was my husband.

Our married life was short and due to the aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment we never had the opportunity to have children.

After Rob’s death, I resigned from my bank job as a financial advisor and started the task of opening my own day nursery to fill with the children we could never have.

I began my grieving process by spending every minute of every day working towards my goal. Finding the right premises, applying for planning permission (an accomplishment in itself as the neighbours were totally opposed to the application) refurbishment, health & safety, rules, regulations, Ofsted and as you can imagine a whole lot more. I didn’t know anything about babies let alone how to manage a day nursery.

In July 1997, I applied for my registration certificate and failed. The building did not reach the standards require by the fire department. I gave up!! I had nothing left to give and did not have the funds to rectify the problem.

My Dad Michael Christopher (who passed away in May 2009 also from cancer) told me that “giving up” was not an option and loaned me the £2000 needed to ensure I could comply with fire regulations.

Bluebells day nursery opened for business in Bebington in September 1997 – one year after Rob died.

I was elated, I was proud, I was sad, I was happy, I was absolutely drained. Now the real work began of making it a success.

The name Bluebells came from our surname “Blewett” (blue) and “bells” from my nickname hells bells. Perfect.

During the next few years, the nursery went from strength to strength. We increased the numbers from 12 to 30, achieved OUTSTANDING from Ofsted, had waiting lists and earned a reputation for childcare second to none.

In a moment of sheer madness, I decided that life was becoming too easy. My children where now in full time school and I needed a new project.

Bluebells day nursery Bromborough opened in April 2004.

On a personal note, I have been remarried (a friend of Rob’s believe it or not) and we have two children Ellie and Harry.

The recent years have been an absolute whirlwind and during that period my fantastic family and friends (and very persuasive nature) have raised an impressive £40,000 for the gene appeal at Clatterbridge hospital.

My new focus is Claire House. I think I can safely say that local people understand just what a brilliant job the staff do looking for seriously ill children. This service does not come cheap! Money raised so far this year is £4100. I cycled Liverpool to Chester and back again (54 miles and never, ever again). All money collected from our garden party was donated to Claire house so a big thank you to all who donated.