We would like to say a big thank you to Sandi Millichip-Massochi for creating handmade Memory Bears for bereaved families to raise money for City Hospice.

Sandi, who has worked for us since March 2018, is a crafter in her spare time and runs a little side project called It’s Sew Woolly. She creates everything from knitted hats and gloves, to handbags and now, Memory Bears.

She said “I started crafting from a very early age. I was quite ill as a child and my Mum used to get me crafty things to do to keep me occupied, so have knitted and sewn since I was about seven. I went on to make my own clothes as a teenager.

When my Dad became ill and I started looking after him, I had more time to do crafting, that’s when I started making handbags. When my Dad died, I wanted to do something with his ties. He was such a smart man and had a huge selection of ties so I decided to make my first Memory Bear out of them to remember him by.”

The bears are created from pieces of clothing from loved ones, from ties to t-shirts. “When someone passes away, you have their clothes which often have a special meaning. You keep them in a cupboard or end up taking them to a charity shop. So, by making the bears, up to 20 pieces of material can be used for each one. This way you can have it on show and remember the good times through it. It’s a lovely keepsake to pass down to children or grandchildren.”

She wanted to do something to help City Hospice and find a way of helping families to cope with a loss and keep the memory of a loved one alive.

“I wanted to give a donation to City Hospice, as firstly, my Dad was helped at the end of his life by the wonderful team. I couldn’t have managed without them. Secondly, I started working here and see every day first-hand what a wonderful job all the teams at City Hospice do.”

A registered charity based in Cardiff, City Hospice provides medical, nursing and specialist palliative care to patients in their own homes as well as offering counselling (adults and children), welfare benefits advice and day centres with a range of activities.

Our Community Fundraiser, Rachael Southcott, wants to thank Sandi for raising money and for capturing the hearts of those families who have already got their bears. ‘These amazing Memory Bears really are mini works of art! Sandi puts so much love, compassion and time into these gorgeous keepsakes. Her creations are such a comfort to those who receive them and a wonderful way to remember a loved one. We’re so grateful to her for donating the proceeds to City Hospice. A huge thank you Sandi!’

To get in touch and find out more about Sandi’s Memory Bears, contact her on Facebook, Instagram or email [email protected]