Hundreds gather to honour little girl who lost her life on beach
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A seaside town has pulled together to pay tribute to a young girl a week on from her death on the beach.
Three-year-old Ava-May Littleboy was killed after being thrown from an inflatable trampoline on Gorleston beach last Sunday, dying from a head injury at the James Paget Hospital.
The impact of the tragic loss was plain to see on Sunday 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.
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.
While many of the people who turned out for the short service did not know Ava-May, they 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.
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The mayor of the Great Yarmouth Borough, Mary Coleman, shared a few words with the gathering 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 at the request of the family Ava-May’s favourite song, Let It Go, was played.
During the song people blew thousands of bubbles into the air, which drifted away into the skies above the sea.
The family, from Somersham in Suffolk, paid tribute to her 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.”