A huge planned gathering may have been put back a year, but the community of Leyland still came together to remember young Saffie Roussos.
A party to mark what would have been the 10th birthday of the youngest victim of the Manchester terror attack was set to be held at Worden Park yesterday but was postponed after talks with the council.
That sparked a series of offers to organiser Mike Swanson, who owns SOS Computing in Leyland, close to the fish and chip shop The Plaice where Saffie lived with her family, and was inundated with calls from pubs and clubs. Around 10 venues offered to hold their own scaled-down fun days instead, and Mike, a family friend of the Roussos, said: “They believe in what I was trying to achieve. The community has come together. They said, ‘It’s short notice but we will do our best’.”
“They have stood behind me and [Saffie’s parents] Andrew and Lisa so much.”
Mike said the Party in the Park would have been a “celebration” of the life of Saffie, who died aged just eight in May last year.
Andrew and Lisa, and their family, found the memory of living in Leyland too painful and have since moved down south.
But Andrew, when the party plans were first announced, said Saffie would have loved the idea of lots of people getting together for her birthday.
Venues yesterday included the Old Leyland Gates pub, The Rose of Farrington, The RAF Club, Tesco in Camber Road, and McDonald’s in Leyland.
Matt Hough, duty manager at the Leyland Gates, said: “We’ve had a fun fair on the car park, a raffle for a cake and a collection bucket.
“We wanted to help and it’s gone really well.”