Great-grandmother creates more than 100 memory bears after picking up lockdown hobby

A kind-hearted great-grandmother has made more than 100 memory bears for friends and family.

Mary Osborne, aged 78 from Bloxwich, began making the cuddly toys during lockdown as a hobby.

Originally she made them for her family, including her 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, the bears were made from Mary's old clothing with a lock of her hair inside for her loved ones to remember her by.

Since then, more and more people have been asking Mary to make them bears - instead of charging them, Mary has asked everyone to donate to The Little Princess Trust, who provide real hair wigs, free of charge, to children and young people who have lost their own hair.

Mary, a former home carer with Walsall Council, said: "I have always been very crafty and used to make my own curtains.

"I saw the bears on Facebook and thought what a good idea, so I made them for the family to remember me and when I pass, they will have a teddy bear's picnic rather than a wake.

"Then friends of the family asked me to make them, so I asked them to donate to the Trust, which my great-granddaughter donated two feet of her hair to.

"The last lot of bears I have made are for my granddaughter who is a teacher to give to pupils in her year six class who she has taught since they were four-years-old for them to remember her by.

"I've also made them for people who have passed away, I think if they can look or hold them it brings them comfort."

Mary's family think she has made more than 100 bears since the first lockdown began.

Her granddaughter Jemma, 34, added: "We are all so proud of her, she is such an inspiration, so caring, kind and unique.

"She not only brings us joy, but also brings joy to so many people."

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