Remembering teen killed by infection

Jemma-Louise Roberts with dad Tony
Jemma-Louise Roberts with dad Tony

A Wigan schoolgirl will be remembered at a series of fund-raisers marking the third anniversary of her tragic death.

Thirteen-year-old Jemma Louise Roberts died on March 1, 2014 from the blood infection, sepsis.

Ever since, family and friends have been raising money for charity and raising awareness of the condition in honour of the Standish High School pupil.

And they are pulling out all the stops to mark the third anniversary.

Her mum Diane Roberts, from Whelley, said: “The more people who know about Jemma and know what happened to Jemma, the more awareness we get out there for both toxic shock syndrome and sepsis.”

An exhilarating zipwire challenge, a musical concert and a coffee morning are all being organised in memory of Jemma-Louise.

Her dad Tony will kickstart the effort by braving Velcocity, the longest zip line in Europe and the fastest in the world, at Zip World in Wales.

He will take on the challenge on Sunday, February 26, which is National Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) Awareness Day.

Mr Roberts will be raising awareness for TSS Aware and raising funds for UK Sepsis Trust.

On Wednesday, March 1 - the anniversary of Jemma-Louise’s death - a coffee morning will be held.

It will take place from 10am to noon at The Hair And Beauty Salon, in New Springs, and people can pop along for a cuppa and support UK Sepsis Trust.

Wigan Council is holding a coffee morning the following day and Mrs Roberts hopes people will organise their own coffee mornings in aid of the charity.

The fund-raisers will culminate in a concert, inspired by Jemma-Louise’s love of music.

She played flute in Wigan Concert Band and Wigan Youth Flute Choir.

Mrs Roberts said: “Jemma would absolutely love it.”

The concert will be held from 7.30pm on Friday, March 3 at The Old Courts in Wigan town centre.

The 19 acts have all offered to perform for free to support TSS Aware and UK Sepsis Trust.

X Factor contestant Olivia Garcia, from Orrell, is among those on the bill.

Also performing will be Joe Atherton, who won the Jemma-Louise Memorial Cup for the intermediate section of Wigan Young Musician Of The Year; friends of Jemma-Louise’s including Hayley Fairhurst and Mel Rawsterne; and Mrs Roberts’ god-daughter Grace Sutton.

Mrs Roberts said: “It’s something for everybody. It’s from classical through to rock and folk and pop.”

Willpower Youth Theatre will start the concert with a big surprise.

Mrs Roberts was inundated with people wishing to perform when she announced her plans online.

She said: “I was very overwhelmed with the response. I have had to turn people away. People have said they are interested but I have had to say sorry.

“We are looking to do another in around about July for Jemma’s birthday.”

Tickets for the concert cost £8.50 in advance or £10 on the door.

They are available from The Old Courts or online at jemma-louise-roberts.eventzilla.net

Tickets are also available from Mrs Roberts, as well as information about holding a coffee morning, by emailing Dianeroberts19@gmail.com.