A Horsham nursery unveiled a new garden last weekend in memory of a colleague who tragically died in a road accident this time last year.
Shelby Gillespie-Boarer,20, who lived in Dorking, lost her life when she was involved in a collision while driving on the A24 near Warnham in July last year.
Since then her family, friends, and colleagues at Giggles Day Nursery in Springfield Road, Horsham, have been raising money to fund a new garden and playhouse for the children.
The new facility was unveiled at a special event on Saturday July 5 where around 100 family and friends enjoyed tea and cakes and released balloons with messages into the sky.
At the event Lara Jackson, who studied with Shelby at the College of Richard Collyer and worked closely with her at Giggles, said: “As you all know Shelby was an amazing person, a great friend and colleague with such a big heart and personality.
“Shelby was always bubbly, happy and full of life. The children, staff, and parents at Giggles all loved her and she is truly missed.”
The new garden funded purely from donations includes a playhouse called ‘Shelby’s Cottage’, a climbing frame, sandbox and planter, a bug box, and baby play area with artificial grass.
All the nursery groups have received one item, while children have also drawn pictures of butterflies on the garden’s fence.
Sally Ashworth, co-manager at Giggles, thanked everyone including the parents for all their generous donations, as well as Horsham Fencing, the Butterfly Project, and Rudgwick Fencing for making the playhouse.
She added: “We did it in her colour scheme, pink, purple and blue, with butterflies.
“She loved bright colours and loved butterflies.”
The project started when rather than receiving flowers at the funeral Shelby’s mum Tina asked for donations towards the nursery for a lasting memorial and continued fundraising with the support of parents whose children attend Giggles.
Jackie Coomber, co-manager at Giggles, said: “Everybody has been very upset by her untimely passing but the children have benefitted and it would have been something Shelby would have really liked.”
She added: “For the family it has been a real help for them because they have all come to see us where Shelby worked and had a close relationship with us and I think it has helped them. It’s kept the staff focused on something positive too.
“It was just a dreadful time although we can’t believe it’s been a year. I think the parents have been so brave and I think this has been a comfort to them.”