Colourful family fun run marks 21st birthday of tragic Wigan schoolgirl

Hundreds of people turned out in force for a fun run to mark what would have been the 21st birthday of a popular Wigan schoolgirl.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 4:55 am

The 5km event was held at Haigh Hall in memory of Jemma-Louise Roberts, from Whelley, who was just 13 when she died in March 2014 from blood infection sepsis.

Her family organised the event to mark the milestone, but also raise awareness of the condition and money for charity UK Sepsis Trust.

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Family fun run will remember Wigan schoolgirl on her 21st birthday

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Runners and walkers set off outside Haigh Hall

Some people wore fancy dress costumes and others walked with their dogs.

They gathered outside Haigh Hall for a warm-up, before setting off on a route through the park.

Everyone was given a paper bib to write a message for Jemma-Louise and a badge bearing a photograph of her.

There was a stand manned by representatives from UK Sepsis Trust, who provided information about the dangerous illness and the symptoms to look out for.

Abigail Wilkinson, who knew Jemma-Louise Roberts through swimming

Jemma-Louise’s mum Diane Roberts said: “It went better than I could ever have expected. When you do something like that you don’t know what to expect and I was frightened people wouldn’t turn up, but the atmosphere was amazing and a lot of that was down to the DJ. I was overwhelmed by it all.”

Money was raised through ticket sales, online donations and sponsorship, with the total collected for the charity still to be calculated.

It will be boosted by money raised at a sponsored swim by Hindley Swimming Club, where Jemma-Louise was a member.

Donations to UK Sepsis Trust can still be made at www.justgiving.com/campaign/JemmaRocks21

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