8th Dec, 2016

Heartbroken daughters of tragic Lianne Harris given special surprise

Solihull Editorial 16th Jan, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

THE HEARTBROKEN young daughters of tragic Lianne Harris have been given a special surprise.

The two girls – Olivia, nine, and Crystal, five – were left motherless after Lianne died at Sheldon Country Park Funfair in September.

Gemma Butcher, of Gemz Dance Academy, began raising money for the girls after being touched by their loss.

She said the pair had got onto a ride with their mum at the fair and within 15 seconds had lost consciousness. She was revived by paramedics but by the time the ambulance had arrived and she had been taken to hospital she had sadly passed away.

Lianne’s daughters attended a dance club ran by Gemma at Langley Hall Social Club, on Langley Hall Road, in Solihull.

“We were very touched and saddened by this and felt the need to do something for the girls,” she said.

It all began when her husband who is a chef at Mitchelin Star restaurant Purnell’s in Birmingham got in touch with his work friends who all kindly donated to the cause.

This included two £500 donations from Tom Kerridge and Glynn Purnell as well as many other chefs.

Gemma then carried it on by rallying the support of parents at her dance school as well as from her friends and family.

Speaking to The Observer Gemma said they had raised £2,365 so far which they would give to the girls to spend on what they liked, whether that be for a holiday or if they want to save it for when they are older.

“Never in a million years did I think we would get to that. I was thinking a few hundred or something but everyone has been so generous,” she added.

Gemma has also bought the girl’s dance class uniforms which have their names on. She said it was something Lianne really wanted them to have.

Gemma added: “The nan and girls were very surprised at the amount we had raised, they were very pleased and thankful.”

Sandra Campion, the girls’ grandmother, said she had decided to put the money in a fund for when they were older, to go towards a car or maybe university.