Family’s tribute plans for murdered Blackpool girl Paige Chivers

Paige Chivers
Paige Chivers
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A family member of murdered Blackpool schoolgirl Paige Chivers is raising money for a bench in her memory.

Simone Wilkinson, a cousin who grew up just a few doors down from Paige, wants the monument so friends and family have somewhere to pay their respects.

Paige Chivers was murdered in 2007.

Paige Chivers was murdered in 2007.

The 30-year-old, from Bispham, said the bench would give them a place to lay flowers in the absence of a grave, since the teen’s body was never found.

Last month, Robert Ewing was jailed for a minimum of 33 years for murdering Paige, who went missing in August 2007.

Miss Wilkinson said: “It’s somewhere people can go and pay their respects on her birthday.

“It will give the family some closure as well. We are not going to be able to have a funeral with no body.”

Paige Chivers

Paige Chivers

She said she is in talks with a local councillor about having the bench in Bispham village, where Paige grew up.

She added: “We used to live about 10 doors away from her.

“I was basically inseparable from Paige’s sister Melissa – every Sunday we were round there having sleep-overs.”

Miss Wilkinson has set up an online fund-raising page to help generate the cash to pay for a memorial bench.

In a couple of days, the total had already topped £400, more than half way to the £700 target.

She said if there is any money left over from buying the bench, some will be used to pay for a memorial service at All Hallows Church, in Bispham. The rest will be donated to a local charity.

The 30-year-old added: “Bispham village is where she grew up, everyone there knows Paige.

“The other place, if we can’t have the bench there, is at the top of Red Bank Road – that’s where her mum’s ashes were scattered.”

And she hopes the gesture will help Paige’s siblings as they come to terms with seeing her killer jailed – but without ever saying where her body is.

She added: “I’m doing it to help them out – they are all still in shock.

“They want to be able to lay cards and flowers.

“I want to get it done as quickly as possible just so it can give them some closure.”

Ewing, 60, was jailed for life after being found guilty of murdering Paige at his flat and perverting the course of justice by intimidating witnesses and lying to police.

Gareth Dewhurst, 46, was convicted of perverting the course of justice and assisting Ewing to dispose of Paige’s body. He was jailed for a total of eight years.

A web page has been set up for people to donate at www.gofundme.com

A message encouraging people to support the efforts to install a bench in Paige’s memory reads: “This horrifying story has touched the hearts of many locals.

“The aim is to have a place that represents her still as part of the community, a place where people can pay respects and let her rest in peace.

“Although they don’t know her final resting place as yet, they’ll be able to have this as a place to lay cards and flowers on birthdays – birthdays she should be here for.”

You can visit the fund-raising page by clicking here.

Miss Wilkinson said she is also in talks with the landlord at The Albion, formerly the Old England, on Red Bank Road, about having a collection bucket in the pub.