A Kenyan orphan has been named after The Gazette’s former women’s editor – in recognition for her efforts to help a children’s charity.
The tiny baby girl, abandoned in Kenya, has been given the name Elizabeth, in tribute to Elizabeth Gomm.
The infant, who weighed just 1.5kg when she was discovered, left hospital last week to join her new family at the Happy House, in Watamu, Kenya – the children’s home built and run by former Blackpool hotelier Sue Hayward.
Sue, known as Mama Sue to the 111 youngsters she looks after, named the baby Elizabeth Anne – after Elizabeth, who is the charity’s voluntary UK organiser and Anne, her sister.
Elizabeth senior first met Sue in 2007, when she was writing a feature – for Eve magazine – about Sue’s dream of opening a children’s home in Africa.
Elizabeth ran the Eve in Africa Appeal in the newspaper, to help raise money to build the Happy House.
Soon after it opened in 2010, she left the newspaper industry to volunteer full-time for the charity in the UK, while Sue and husband David ran the home and its school in Kenya.
Sue said: “Our social worker Billy and I were working on some facts and figures, when the children’s office called. Could we take an abandoned baby, found two weeks before, weighing just 1.5kg. She was in Malindi Hospital and now, at 2.2kg, was ready to leave. We left straight away.
“Then we wondered what to call her.
“Elizabeth Gomm, our very own Auntie Libby, is amazing with our Happy House Family. She works tirelessly raising awareness and funds – travelling around, giving talks to many different groups and in schools.
“She is brilliant and never misses an opportunity to talk about our ever-growing family.
“Her sister Anne died a few years ago, leaving a great void in Libby’s life.
“We decided to honour our Elizabeth by calling our new arrival Elizabeth Anne.
“I know she will have the same loving and caring ways as her namesakes.”
Elizabeth, of Blackpool, said: “To have a beautiful baby, from such a tragic start, named for Anne and I is the most wonderful feeling in the world.
“Anne was a truly beautiful person, who radiated sunshine. She was sweet, generous and kind and she adored children. She died from cancer aged 46.
“She would have loved our Happy House.
“Her inspiration, her influence, and ultimately her death, have played a big part in making me the woman I am today.
“Elizabeth Anne will become a part of my family and we look forward to sharing in her life.”
To find out more about the charity visit www.childrenofwatamu.net