Weston-super-Mare family donates son's Gromit collection to hospice which cared for him

Ollie's Gromit collection. Credit: Children’s Hospice South West

The family of a boy who loved the Gromit the dog has donated his collection of the models to the hospice which helped care for him.

Ollie Lewis’s family began collecting tge characters, made famous by the Aardman Animation film series Wallace and Gromit, when he was just a baby and the collection in his Weston-super-Mare bedroom steadily grew.

They’re now on display at the Charlton Farm hospice in Bristol for other children and young people to enjoy. 22 of them are in reception, with others dotted around the hospice.

Ollie with mum Charmaine and siblings Millie and Alfie

Ollie was left with Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and seizures after a brain injury at birth.His disabilities meant he was non-verbal and used a wheelchair, needing around-the-clock care.

Ollie’s mum Charmaine said: “I don’t really know where the love of Gromits first came from. He got the first one as a birthday present and then it quickly became Ollie’s thing.

“Family and friends started to buy them for him as gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Mum and I used to go up to the shop in The Mall and queue from early in the morning to make sure he had the latest one for his collection when they arrived.”

Ollie first stayed at the Charlton Farm hospice when he was 18 months old. Ollie, mum Charmaine, dad Neil and siblings Millie, now 5 and Alfie, 9, were all supported by the charity.

Ollie died in March 2022, aged 10, with his family by his side.

Mrs Lewis said: “Whilst sorting through Ollie’s things we thought about his Gromit collection and where to put them and after speaking to the sibling team, we thought about placing them around Charlton Farm for the children to look at and to make a fun little hunt around the house.

“For us it means that if anyone asks where they are from, Ollie will forever be spoken about in a place that he loved.”