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Holly leaves footprint on High Peak

Shannon Butler. Unveiling of musical instruments in the playground, donated by Holly's Footprint. Peak School is a special needs school and Holly's Footprint is a charity set up in memory of Holly Swainson

Shannon Butler. Unveiling of musical instruments in the playground, donated by Holly's Footprint. Peak School is a special needs school and Holly's Footprint is a charity set up in memory of Holly Swainson

A year after a Hayfield teenager died, she is still making her mark on the High Peak.

Holly Swainson, 15, passed away on June 21, 2013, from a severe asthmatic reaction.

Inspired by her desire to make a difference, parents Debbie and Andrew set up Holly’s Footprint as a legacy for their daughter, who loved fundraising and volunteering.

On Wednesday, they unveiled their first scheme in the High Peak, a musical playground for Peak School, in Chinley, which caters for children with learning disabilities.

From drainpipe drums to xylophone fences, the pupils can now enjoy playing music outdoors, thanks to a £2,600 donation.

Hope Valley College student Holly dreamed of being a music therapist and was due to start a work experience placement with a special needs school, three days after she died.

Andrew, of New Mills Road, said: “There was an inclination to raise awareness of what affected Holly. We didn’t feel it was totally appropriate as she hadn’t really suffered with asthma.

“We felt very strongly we wanted to get a tangible result and do something and see it working. She was so unselfish and caring and always concerned with helping people.”

From quiz nights to sponsored runs, the project has supported causes that would have been close to Holly’s heart, from Macmillan Cancer Support to the Philippines Tycoon Appeal.

Holly’s Footprint has raised approximately £15,000 since its first fundraiser, a cake stall at Hayfield Sheep Dog Trials last September, which raised £1,700.

Andrew added: “Parents are going to say this, but she really was lovely. Whatever she’s doing now, we hope she’s proud of us. We think of it as her achievement rather than ours.”

 

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