Moving worldwide tributes in the sand for Jemma-Louise

A Wigan teenager is being remembered by holidaymakers visiting beaches around the world.

Thursday, 17th August 2017, 1:20 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:47 pm
Penang national park in Malaysia

Friends, relatives and even complete strangers have written “Jemma” in the sand or with pebbles on beaches both in the UK and further afield.

They are paying tribute to Jemma-Louise Roberts, who was just 13 when she died on March 1, 2014 after developing blood infection sepsis.

More than 100 photographs have been sent to her mother Diane, from Whelley, in just a month, and the pictures continue to pour in from around the world.

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Mrs Roberts said: “It’s lovely. What’s really nice is that people who are going on their annual holiday are thinking about Jemma.

“I asked on Facebook if anyone had been asked why they were writing Jemma in the sand and they said yes. They told people why and told Jemma’s story and it’s getting awareness out there as well.”

The inspiration for the photographs came when a picture of Jemma-Louise on the beach on Conwy appeared on Mrs Roberts’s timeline on Facebook.

Jemma-Louise’s godmother was going to Conwy, so she asked her to write her daughter’s name on the beach.

Jemma-Louise Roberts

Mrs Roberts said: “It was lovely. It just spiralled from there.

“I said wouldn’t it be nice if we could get people to write Jemma’s name on beaches around the world.”

Photographs have come from UK beaches such as Ainsdale and Formby, as well as popular holiday destinations in Spain and Greece.

Others have been sent from further afield, including Malaysia, South Africa and Coney Island in New York.

Penang national park in Malaysia

Jemma-Louise’s godfather put her name on a beach in China, after asking someone how to write it in Chinese.

Mrs Roberts and her husband Tony donated £100 to the UK Sepsis Trust once they had received 50 photographs.

A further £100 will be given by an anonymous benefactor now that they have reached 100, along with £50 by the parents of a friend of Jemma-Louise’s.

Mrs Roberts said: “Our next target will be 150. People are saying they are going to Australia in six months and will do it then.”

Jemma-Louise Roberts

It is hoped that another individual or a business will pledge to donate £100 to the charity if they get 150 photographs.

People are being encouraged to keep writing Jemma-Louise’s name and sending the photographs to Mrs Roberts via Facebook.

Her own summer holiday will be in Calahonda, Spain. She will write her daughter’s name in the sand, but she has already been beaten to it by friends Jemma-Louise made there on previous trips.