Friends pay tribute to Hartlepool woman with ‘heart of gold’ as fundraiser launched to help with funeral costs
Two women want to ensure their close friend has a fitting send off following her sudden death.
Gemma Malham passed away on Saturday morning, July 10, at the age of 39, leaving behind 12-year-old son Liam.
Natalie Merchant, 33 and Donna Mclean, 40, want to make sure Gemma, from the Rift House area of town, “gets the amazing send off she deserves”.
The pair, who lives in Owton Manor, have said Gemma’s family have experienced a difficult couple of years after her older son Ryan passed away in 2019 and Liam lost his dad in 2018.
Natalie and Donna are now hoping to raise £1,500 to help the family with the funeral costs.
They said: “Gemma was a great friend to many and would help anyone she could and now it’s our time to help and make sure that she gets the amazing send off she deserves.
“Her amazing family have had so much loss the past couple of years and can do with the support of all of Gemma’s friends right now to make her send off as easy as possible.
“Please if you can help it would be appreciated and if you can’t donate then you can just show some support for everyone Gemma knew.”
Natalie, who was friends with Gemma for 27 years, has said she still feels numb.
She said: "Gemma was well-known and she was well-loved. There’s that much heartbreak now. I still feel numb, like it’s not real.
"She was a princess so we would like her to have some sort of funeral that would be special for her without the family struggling for money.”
The mother-of-five described Gemma as bright and bubbly and continued: "She was just a diamond, she was a gem.
"There was not one bad bone in her body. She always thought of other people even though she had her own struggles.
"It’s heartbreaking to think that she’s not here anymore.”
Natalie added: "She was bright, bubbly, she’d help anyone. She had a heart of gold. She will be very, very much missed and we loved her to piece.
"She was like my sister, my mum and auntie in one.”
You can donate to the Go Fund Me campaign by searching for “Help to give Gemma the send off she deserves”.