Lighting up the skies for V

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Caroline Thompson (left) with Caroline Bramhall gearing for the switch-on in memory of Violet Lancaster
COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Caroline Thompson (left) with Caroline Bramhall gearing for the switch-on in memory of Violet Lancaster
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She was the light of her family’s lives.

And now little Violet Lancaster’s memory will help light up the lives of many others.

The six-year-old, from Thornton, died on December 16 last year after becoming ill with pneumonia and a respiratory virus.

Violet – nicknamed Queen V by her family – was immobile and couldn’t speak, as she had a range of complex medical conditions. But the pretty little girl rarely stopped smiling and warmed the hearts of all who met her. Now two businesswomen have organised a special event in her memory, to create a sense of community spirit and raise funds for the charity set up in her name, Violet’s Light.

On Sunday, Violet’s sister Shannon, 16, and mum Julie Woodhead will be guests of honour and press the button at the Marsh Mill Christmas Lights Switch-on in Thornton.

The whole complex will be lit up in memory of Violet - from the windmill being lit up by Wyre Borough Council, to the square being lit up by businesses and individuals with torches and mobile phones.

The switch-on has turned into a big community event, with an afternoon of entertainment planned for all the family.

Caroline Bramhall - who owns Grace and Favour fabric and sewing accessories shop, and helped organise the event with friend and fellow businesswoman Caroline Thompson - said: “I’m overwhelmed by the support we have received and I can’t wait to help raise funds for such a worthy cause.

“Violet was a lovely little girl. She used to love coming into the shop and she was always smiling. She made everybody smile because she was like a ray of sunshine.

“We wanted to provide something which would be a permanent memorial to Violet and something special for her family.

“We have so many people helping – it’s true community spirit – electricians, performers, gardeners, printers and caterers. Wyre Council have been great and the mill shop-owners too.

“We are asking those coming along to being a torch or mobile phone to hold up during the switch-on.”

All funds raised by the event, which runs from 3pm until 7pm, will go towards providing cooling equipment in hospitals across the North West. This would allow more babies to have special treatment which could help save lives. Violet’s mum Julie said: “Our first goal is to raise £16,000 for St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, where Violet was treated many times. I feel privileged Caroline and Caroline have chosen Violet’s Light as their charity.”

There will be stalls selling Christmas gifts and children’s toys. The miniature railway will run throughout the day and the mill will be open, with guided tours.

To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/violetslight

For information, call Grace and Favour on (01253) 365510.