Friends rally to pay Wigan tot Hollie’s funeral costs

Hollie Ashurst
Hollie Ashurst

Thousands of pounds have been donated to a fund-raising appeal to give a tragic tot the “send-off she deserves”.

Little Hollie Ashurst died on Friday, March 1, the day after being taken to hospital with head injuries, sparking a murder investigation.

Friends of her mother Leanne, from Shevington, wanted to help by raising £1,500 to pay for a funeral.

So far 123 people have donated to the appeal, both loved ones and complete strangers touched by 14-month-old Hollie’s death.

The target has been surpassed, with £2,250 donated so far.

The online appeal states: “This page has been set up by friends to support a grieving mother and family in such a difficult time. That have lost this little girl at such a young age in such horrific circumstances. So the family can receive contributions to give this little girl a send off she deserves, true princess style. RIP Hollie Ashurst. Aka Hollie Dollie.”

In a moving tribute, a star has also been registered in Hollie’s memory, named the Hollie Mae Star.

An investigation was launched when police were informed by medical staff that Hollie was being taken to hospital with head injuries on Thursday, February 28.

Despite the best efforts of hospital staff, she died the following day.

The family’s home on Fleming Court, Shevington, was searched by police, while flowers and soft toys were left outside in tribute to the tot.

In a moving statement released via the police, her mother Leanne said: “Hollie was my dream come true. She was such a bright, smiley, happy little girl and was everyone’s ray of sunshine.

“Hollie brightened everyone’s day and was an inspiration and never unhappy.

“Fly high my princess with your other loved ones and sweet dreams my baby girl, I will always love you.”

Her aunts, grandad and uncle said: “She was always smiling. She has been through operations with her cleft, but she never let anything bother her.

“Hollie was the happiest baby. She struggled through her operations and she was such a brave girl. She had just started to crawl and was such a clever girl and she never got upset. She loved watching cartoons.

“She was alert and always happy and loved watching Mr Tumble and In The Night Garden.”

Hollie’s father Daniel Ashurst, 32, was charged with her murder and is currently remanded in custody until a hearing on May 17 at Manchester Crown Court. A trial is expected to take place in October.

To make a donation to the appeal in memory of Hollie, go to the just giving page here