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Hundreds gather to pay tribute to Ava-May Littleboy after beach tragedy

PUBLISHED: 23:22 08 July 2018 | UPDATED: 23:22 08 July 2018

People gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

People gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

A seaside town has pulled together to pay tribute to a young Suffolk girl a week after she died in a tragic accident on the beach.

People gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCANPeople gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Three-year-old Ava-May Littleboy, from Somersham near Ipswich, was thrown from an inflatable trampoline on Gorleston beach last Sunday.

She was taken to the James Paget Hospital where she died from her injuries.

The impact of the tragic loss was plain to see on this evening, with hundreds of people gathering by the beach to pay their respects, many wearing Ava-May’s favourite colour, pink.

The event was organised by Bradwell mother-of-two, Emma Wright, after she reached out to the family via Facebook and asked if there was anything she could do to ease their pain.

People gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCANPeople gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

She said: “I think the family will be pleased. I just wanted to help in any way I could.”

The service was originally planned as a balloon release but, due to environmental concerns, it was instead decided bubbles would be blown.

Many of the people who turned out for the short service did not know Ava-May, but wanted to show solidarity with her family at this time of unimaginable sadness.

The fenced off area where the inflatable trampoline used to be is now all but empty, yet groups of young children playing in the sand around it served as a stark reminder of the innocent circumstances in which Ava-May died.

People gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCANPeople gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

The mayor of the Great Yarmouth Borough, Mary Coleman, shared a few words at the start of the service.

She said: “The loss of any life, especially one so young, is tragic.

“We know this tribute will mean a lot to the family and it is heartening to see the community come together.”

Canon Simon Ward then led a minute’s silence and a few short prayers, and then at the request of the family Ava-May’s favourite song, Let It Go, was played.

People gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCANPeople gather on Gorleston beach to mark the one week anniversary of the tragic event leading to the death of Ava-May Littleboy Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

During the song people blew thousands of bubbles into the air, which drifted away into the skies above the sea.

The family paid tribute to Ava-May following her death.

They said: “She was not your ordinary little girl, as anyone she met, she would leave a lasting impression on.

“Anyone that met her would not want to forget her. Her infectious laugh and smile could light up even the darkest of rooms.”

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