Fundraiser will remember Rachel

FRIENDS: Sarah Docherty and Rachel Turnedge
FRIENDS: Sarah Docherty and Rachel Turnedge

THE former support worker of a disabled girl who tragically lost her life has organised a fundraiser in her memory.

Rachel Turnedge died of pneumonia in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) on April 30 last year, the day of her 29th birthday.

Rachel lived in the Rossmere area of Hartlepool and along with her mum, Pam, was due to be going on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, in France last year thanks to the charity HCPT, The Pilgrimage Trust.

The charity takes children and adults with physical and learning disabilities away to Lourdes every year.

Charity workers were touched by Rachel during the two years they knew her and are now organising an event in her memory to help raise money for the charity.

Sarah Docherty, 19, who was Rachel’s support worker, said: “I would like to reach out to as many of Rachel’s friends and friends of HCPT to help make this night a success.

“Rachel was such a big part of our last charity night.

“Rachel and her mum, Pam, spoke so well of what a week in Lourdes had meant to them and how much they were looking forward to last year’s pilgrimage, but unfortunately they were not able to join us.”

Rachel suffered with learning difficulties, curvature of the spine and was fed through a tube in her abdomen.

An inquest held since her tragic death heard that the RVI hospital failed to notice the quick deterioration of her condition and made a number of other failings before her death, as previously reported in the Hartlepool Mail.

Sarah now says she hopes to make the charity evening an annual event in the future.

The fundraising event is taking place in Hartlepool Steelworks Club, in Westbourne Road, Hartlepool, on Tuesday, April 24.

Before the event gets underway a Mass to remember Rachel’s life will be held at St Patrick’s Church, in Owton Manor Lane, in the town, starting at 6.30pm.

Sarah added: “We would like as many people as possible to join us in remembering her wonderful smile and her infectious personality and the way she touched so many people’s lives.”

Tickets for the event at Hartlepool Steelworks Club are £3 and are available from Sarah on 07715957785.

The event, which will raise money for the charity’s pilgrimage to Lourdes this year, will include an auction, raffle, bingo and live band.