27th Oct, 2016

Bearing up well as milestones near

Joshua Godfrey 14th Oct, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

AN OFFENHAM woman is celebrating two milestones this year with her 90th birthday and the 20th anniversary since she began handcrafting Maypole Bears.

Jean Jephcott, who has lived in the village for 30 years, began making the famous bears in 1996 and has since made more than 800 of the handcrafted teddies, ensuring that each bear is different.

That’s not the only milestone Jean is celebrating this year, as she is set to mark her 90th birthday in December. As part of the celebrations, and after turning 90 in the same year as Queen Elizabeth II, Jean sent a special bear to Her Majesty for which she received an acknowledgement from the Queen.

Jean’s bears have also raised funds for many local charities over the years. And prior to her bear venture, Jean and her husband John made a variety of soft toys and crafts- raising more than £28,000 in the process for Arthritis Research.

Next Wednesday (October 19) Jean is hosting a 20th anniversary open day at her home in Gibbs Lane, by the Maypole in Offenham from, 10am and will run throughout the day.

Visitors will be able to see Jean’s bear collection and adopt a bear of their own to help Jean carry on what she loves.

For more information on this event call Jean on 01386 48217 or e-mail jean@maypolebears.co.uk.