GRACE’S LEGACY

Lisa Turner, along with friends and family, has been raising money for Brian House since losing her daughter, Grace.
Lisa Turner, along with friends and family, has been raising money for Brian House since losing her daughter, Grace.
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WHEN heartbroken parents Lisa and Steve Turner started off on a fundraising mission to help local hospice Brian House, in memory of their daughter Grace, they never expected the amazing response they got.

The family were inundated by offers of help and donations from people from across the Fylde coast – including close friends and those who loved and knew Grace, as well as those they had never met.

And Eve can finally reveal the grand total Angel Grace Fundraising has managed to get together in less than 12 months ... is an amazing £26,500!

Lisa, 39, from Hambleton, said she is “absolutely delighted” with the figure and said it was a fitting tribute to little Grace, who died on Christmas Eve 2010, aged just six.

Grace suffered from Rett Syndrome and had spend much of her time in the last year of her short life in hospital or at Brian House Hospice, in Bispham.

Her family were so touched by the wonderful care their “Angel Grace” received, they wanted to do something in return.

So Lisa – who now works as a carer for children with complex needs to support them in their own homes – set up a dedicated fundraising campaign as a lasting legacy in Grace’s memory.

The target was to raise £19,000 for Brian House, to help pay for a special sensory corridor, to create a magical experience for the children who are cared for there.

But after a series of events, including sponsored walks, a fun run, the Illumathon, and the Santa Dash, Angel Grace Fundraising has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Grace’s older sister Isabelle, 10, even joined in the fundraising by holding raffles and organising a sweet sale, and raised around £200.

Lisa said: “The total is brilliant, and it’s really down to the kindness of so many people. We’ve been overwhelmed. I’m especially proud of Isabelle and how much she has raised on her own.

“It’s not just in Grace’s memory, but all the children who have been looked after at Brian House. The care Grace received was outstanding and so was the support we received as a family. We are still receiving help now and it’s lovely with the fundraising that Brian House – where I met such wonderful people – can still be part of our lives.

“Because I devoted my time to looking after Grace, I was left with a huge void. I was used to having a routine and being so busy, but then there was just nothing.

“So the fundraising has kept me busy, giving me something to focus on and helped with my grieving. It’s something I’m so passionate about.”

Lisa said she had also been really touched by how loved Grace was among local people. A memorial event for her on December 14 saw more than 150 people pack into St James Church to celebrate her life.

And the family’s fundraising efforts will not be stopping.

Lisa hopes Angel Grace Fundraising will be able to continue to support Brian House, as well as helping other parents create ‘memories’ of their little ones through photos, handprints and so on.

The hospice hopes work can get started on the corridor, which will feature sights and sound to allow poorly children to interact, later this year. There is something similar, but it is badly in need of updating.

Lisa said: “In the last year, Grace spent a lot of time in bed and the corridor is wide enough for a bed to get down. She would have loved the sensory corridor. It will make a real difference for children like Grace.”

Linzi Young, fundraising manager at the hospice, said: “Lisa, together with her family and friends, has done an amazing job to raise so much money in memory of Grace.

“This fantastic gift to Brian House will allow us to build a new multi-sensory corridor which our patients, of all ages, will be able to enjoy for years to come.

“Play and stimulation is an important part of any child’s life, and it’s no different here at Brian House.”