Hindley couple win MBEs for work in memory of daughter

Sheila Fairhurst and husband Trevor have each been awarded an MBE, for their services to charity and combatting domestic violence - their daughter Carly, was a victim of a fatal domestic abuse attack.
Sheila Fairhurst and husband Trevor have each been awarded an MBE, for their services to charity and combatting domestic violence - their daughter Carly, was a victim of a fatal domestic abuse attack.

More than a decade of selfless service to the public in memory of their daughter has earned Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst MBEs.

The Hindley couple could have shrunk, distraught into the shadows to grieve privately after 19-year-old Carly was brutally killed by her boyfriend Darren Pilkington in 2006.

But instead they threw themselves into charity work and become prominent campaigners and public speakers on domestic violence.

After their bereavement they sought help from Wigan Victim Support and Witness Service and Sheila in particular benefitted from its counselling arm.

But no sooner had she started using it than it was announced that funding for it was drying up and the service was going to close.

The Fairhursts set about preventing this from happening and since then they have set up The Carly Fund while organising and inspiring all manner of charitable events which have raised more than £60,000 for Wigan Victim Support and more recently the service in Greater Manchester as a whole.

The couple are also much in demand as speakers on the subject of domestic violence, having been in the unfortunate position of knowing it was inflicted on their daughter.

They are regularly used by several police forces to address officers on the subject, not least on how to spot the signs of an abusive relationship. This work itself earned them several awards and a Greater Manchester Chief Constable’s commendation.

A number of senior police officers offered written tributes to the Fairhursts in the application to Downing Street for their MBEs which was co-ordinated by Trevor’s workmate at the Waitrose distribution centre in Leyland, Jimmy Henderson. Victim Support bosses and representatives of the local media also supported the bid.

Trevor said: “We are made up with these awards. A Cabinet Office letter came out of the blue asking us if we would accept a Queen’s birthday honour and we were shocked, deeply moved and also delighted.

“We did accept, not least because it will help to give the causes close to our hearts extra impetus and publicity.”

A date now has to be set for the pair to head down south for their investiture at either Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle with a senior royal.

Trevor said: “Carly would be very proud of us, I am sure. But we would much rather have her back: then we would not have needed to do all this that earned the MBEs in the first place.”