Hayley Mears from Orton Goldhay is giving up her time to turn garments from people who have died into bears which can then be cherished by their relatives.
Mum of two Hayley said she has been contacted from people across the country after creating bears from the clothing of her two grandmothers who passed away last year due to ill health, before posting a video on social media site TikTok.
The video has since been viewed 84,000 times which has kept Hayley busy during the current lockdown.
She said: “Last year I lost both my nans.
“I kept some clothing to make something then got busy with window painting and making face masks.
“I then thought ‘I have some time so will make bears for family members’. My great aunt – my nan’s sister – I made one for her for Christmas. She really appreciated having something kept.
“A lot of people when relatives pass away keep their clothes but a lot of the time they’re packed away. I thought it’s something they can keep out and remember them by and pass down to future generations
“I’ve seen other people do memory bears and memory blankets and I just thought I like to keep busy and active and I like doing my sewing so I’ll give it a go and it’s turned out really well and just taken off.”
Each bear takes around four to five hours to make, and since her video went viral on TikTok Hayley has been taking requests from people across the country.
“People have been saying ‘can you make me a bear?’
“It does appeal to all generations, young and old, who have an appreciation of what it means and they are able to cherish somebody.
“I’m doing one now for a rockabilly fan nicknamed Elvis. It’s a bit like a bowling shirt!
“It’s nice to keep people’s memories going on.”
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