A BARROW woman is making sentimental jewellery out of the ashes of loved ones for grieving family’s.

Donna Butler got into jewellery making as a result of an illness rendering her bedbound and needing something to keep her busy.

Ms Butler said: “When I was 16 I became very physically ill.

“I have recurring DVT, PE, and PVTS - I have had over 50 blood clots to date in my legs, lungs, liver, abdominal wall and intestines.

“My illness is life long to which I am medicated and have weekly doctor and hospital visits.

“I was bed bound throughout most of this and I needed something to do.

“I was introduced to jewellery making 15 years ago and it helped me in so many ways and kept my mind busy while my body was failing.

“My dad passed away in 1999 - his ashes had been with my mum until four years ago when she passed away suddenly.

“I have four siblings who all have children and when we looked into buying items to keep our parents with us, we discovered the prices were a months shopping for our children so I managed to find a way to help us without breaking the bank.

“Slowly I helped friends and before I knew it friends of friends were messaging me for rings, necklaces and bracelets using hair, soil and ashes.

“I decided right from the start that I would only charge for materials as I have always done even with normal jewellery items.

“My mental state went down a dark path after I lost my mum.

“She was the one who looked after me when I got sick and was by my side every time I was in hospital.

“As someone that struggles with mental and physical health I know just how much something small can mean so much in such a dark time.

“I’m a disabled mum of two just trying to help others.

“If I could help just one person from feeling that little less darkness, then I was going to try it.”

For more information on Donna’s jewellery, visit her Facebook group, ‘Dee’s Gems’.