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Huge turnout in Gloucester for first family day for Hollie Gazzard

By The Citizen  |  Posted: June 01, 2014

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Hundreds of well-wishing families turned out to support the first Summer Hollie Day to raise money for a memorial bench for the former Fringe Benefits employee who died this year.

Much loved Hollie was killed as she worked at the salon in February. Her former colleagues wanted to show their support for Hollie’s family by staging a family fun day and raise money for a lasting memorial.

Live music was performed from bands from the area, and there was a mini-fun fair and climbing wall. A raffle, auction, sweet shop and face painting also encouraged people to donate. Hair treatments and cakes were offered in exchange for a donation to Hollie’s fund, with around £6,000 needed to complete the fundraising.

Fringe Benefits director, Marina Hodgins, said: “It has been a little bit hectic to say the least as we aren’t usually open on a Sunday.

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“People have been very generous. The reaction has been so positive.

“The bench has been left in the hands of the designer Matthew Burt who made a similar seat for Sting. We have left it with him to come up with a new design.

“It has been hard work, but we have all been a little bit emotional. Hollie’s family have been here supporting us.

“People feel for the family and for the business, their support has been incredible.

“It has been hard to stay focus and continue, but Hollie would have wanted us to do that. She was a very vibrant, positive girl. She would think this day is awesome.”

The ‘kissing seat’ is being created by Matthew Burt, who designed a similar bench for the music artists Sting.

Businesses and friends have donated raffle prizes including free use of a holiday home, holidays and hair straighteners.

Jane Ravenhill, 53, is a regular customer at Fringe Benefits.

“Hopefully this will become an annual event,” she said. “I knew Hollie from going in to Fringe Benefits and she was such a lovely girl. It is important that we always remember her. It is good that everyone has supported it so well and the city council has got behind it. It has brought Gloucester together.”

John Presley is an instructor from the Warehouse, an indoor climbing wall just a short walk from the salon.

“We will hope to collect around £50 from today it is a good cause. Everyone clearly feels strongly about what happened here and has turned out to show their support. It has got people talking about what happened.”

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