College invites Wigan residents to fund-raiser in memory of former student

Leo Hatton (second from left) with his friends who are now fund-raising for Sarcoma UK in his memory, including Danielle Pollitt-Walmsley (centre)
Leo Hatton (second from left) with his friends who are now fund-raising for Sarcoma UK in his memory, including Danielle Pollitt-Walmsley (centre)

Fund-raisers who went to a Wigan sixth form college are inviting residents to a charity day in memory of a young cancer victim.

A group of former Winstanley College students are returning to their alma mater to remember Leo Hatton, who has died of sarcoma aged just 20, and to raise money for Sarcoma UK.

Leo and his friends all travelled to Winstanley from their homes in Walkden on the bus every day while doing their A-levels, with their group also including Ellen Higginbottom, who was savagely murdered in Orrell Water Park.

Now they have been rocked by another tragedy after Leo, who was studying computer science at the University of Nottingham, lost his 16-month battle with the rare type of bone cancer.

Before he died, Leo spoke to his friends about raising money for the charity which supported him, and they are now putting on a big fun day at the college to carry out his wish.

Danielle Pollitt-Walmsley, one of the organisers, said: “We spoke to Leo while he was battling cancer about fund-raising and supporting the charity.

“He wanted to go back to college because it was a place that was safe and supportive. Everyone was happy when we were there.

“We spoke to the college and they were very happy for us to come. They have been amazing.

“We want to have a fun day to celebrate Leo’s life and get the community there to help us raise money for charity.

“We all got the bus together and it was a very long journey so all of us are really quite close. Ellen was in that group from the bus as well and Orrell and Wigan were just so amazing when she died.

“That was also why Leo wanted to go back, he said a few times he wanted to visit Ellen’s memorial garden.

“We would just love it if the communities of Wigan and Orrell could support us again for this fun day.”

Danielle says she and her fellow organisers, including Jake Bennett, who was the main driving force behind the idea, have no fund-raising target, but just want to raise as much as possible for Sarcoma UK.

There will be a barbecue, raffles, tombolas, cake sales, quizzes and traditional fair games, including some given a tea theme to reflect Leo’s love of a good brew.

The fund-raiser for Sarcoma UK in memory of Leo Hatton will be held at Winstanley College on Saturday, August 3 from 12pm until 5pm.

Find out more about the fun day at www.facebook.com/events/365746810809519