Fund in Mel’s memory helps Exton skatepark campaign

Derek Ward hands over a cheque to Luke and Charlotte Maiden of the Exton skatepark fundraising committee. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-28-11-14-001aw EMN-140112-150411001
Derek Ward hands over a cheque to Luke and Charlotte Maiden of the Exton skatepark fundraising committee. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-28-11-14-001aw EMN-140112-150411001
0
Have your say

A fund set up in memory of a murdered police officer has donated £500 towards a skatepark campaign.

Derek Ward and his wife Jilly set up a trust in memory of their daughter Melissa.

Melissa, 28, who was a police officer in Oakham, died at her home in The Sidings in 2007. An inquest heard her boyfriend Benedict Marlow stabbed her, before taking his own life.

Derek and Jilly set up a memorial fund for Melissa with the aim of raising £600 for a memorial bench, which is now in Braunston.

But they were overwhelmed to raise £6,000 and decided to keep the remaining funds in trust to be used for projects for the benefit of children and young people.

They heard about the campaign in Exton from Charlotte Maiden, who they work with at Greetham Valley Golf Club, to raise funds for a new skating ramp and decided to donate £500.

Derek said: “I think the fundraising efforts in Exton have been absolutely fantastic, they have done very well to raise so much money and when we heard about it, we wanted to help.

“Mel loved children and we lived there with her in Exton for many years so we have a close connection to the village.

“We thought it would be nice for people in Oakham and the surrounding community to know where the money they have so generously given in memory of Mel is being spent.”

A group of 12 teens from Exton organised a bazaar to raise funds for the half-pipe they wish to have built.

The group had been told that if they could raise a quarter of the £10,000 needed, they would have a better chance of being successful with grant applications.

With this donation, the total raised so far is £2,225. Items have also been donated, which will be auctioned to raise more money.