Mother and daughter's loving tribute to 'shining star' lost to illness

rainbow bench

Sue Williams (front left) and Kiri-Jo Chell (front right) will walk 10k each full moon in 2022 to raise money for a rainbow bench in Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad, for Sharee-Anne (back) who passed away from illness five years ago. - Credit: Sue Williams

A mother and daughter will walk 10k during each full moon in 2022 to raise money for a rainbow bench for their daughter and sister who was lost to illness five years ago.

Sharee-Anne Williams, who had Down's Syndrome, passed away in May 2017 aged 31 after medical complications resulted in a lengthy battle with illness.

sharee-anne

Sharee-Anne Williams (left) died in May 2017 after medical complications resulted in a lengthy battle with illness. - Credit: Sue Williams

Five years later, her mother Sue Williams and sister Kiri-Jo Chell, will be walking 10k each full moon in 2022 to raise money for a rainbow bench in Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad.

The rainbow bench will allow people who are feeling lonely, struggling with grief or their mental health to sit down and talk to others about their worries and problems.

walk

Sue Williams and Kiri-Jo Chell will walk 10k each full moon in 2022. - Credit: Sue Williams

Talking about the inspiration behind the idea, Ms Williams said: "Not only did we want to raise money for something in Sharee-Anne's memory, we wanted to do something physical as well.

"Sharee-Anne loved being outside and we always called her our little shining star.

"By doing the walk each full moon we hope to look up to her when the sky is clear and feel that connection with her again."

sharee-anne

The walk has been inspired from the idea that Sharee-Anne was the family's 'shining star.' - Credit: Sue Williams

Most Read

Ms Williams and Kiri-Jo are hoping that the rainbow bench will allow others in the community to open up about their problems, anxieties and grief with others.

sharee-anne

Sue's grandson (pictured in Nicholas Everitt Park) never got to meet Sharee-Anne. - Credit: Sue Williams

"We came up with the location of Nicholas Everitt Park because myself and Sharee-Anne used to love spending time there together," Ms Williams said.

"The rainbow bench will be designed for people to sit on if they are feeling lonely or in grief.

"We as a family are still going through the grieving process and it is incredible what even a smile from a stranger can do to change your entire thought process when you are feeling down.

"The response from the community so far has been fantastic so it would be great if we could raise enough money for the bench.

"We hope to have a little plaque on the bench for her as well.

"When she was alive, she always brought people together and we hope if enough money is raised this bench will do the same for other people."

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter