Making waves in aid of charity

Emelia-Paige Williams and her mum Petra are joined by Anthony Costa, of Blue, on one of her sponsored swims.
Emelia-Paige Williams and her mum Petra are joined by Anthony Costa, of Blue, on one of her sponsored swims.

A youngster has been joined by a host of celebrities in making a splash to raise money for a charity close to her heart.

Emelia-Paige Williams lost one of her twin sisters, Darcey, when she was just 23-months-old.

Emelia-Paige Williams and her mum Petra, who has set up Darcey's Dream in memory of the daughter she lost.

Emelia-Paige Williams and her mum Petra, who has set up Darcey's Dream in memory of the daughter she lost.

Now the three-year-old is supporting her mother Petra, of Wallridge, near Matfen, with Darcey’s Dream after no support was offered for Darcey’s father Simon, Emelia-Paige or Darcey’s twin sister Layla-Grace.

The aim of the Blyth-based charity is to help bereaved families and siblings after the death of a baby or child, with one area providing sibling memory boxes to allow the whole family to make lasting memories of the baby or child.

The charity also offers a range of support services, including sibling distraction therapy and counselling, and breathing monitors are provided free for ‘rainbow babies’ born after the loss of a baby or child.

Emelia-Paige, who aims to be a trustee at Darcey’s Dream when she is old enough, has embarked on her own fund-raising drive by completing a series of sponsored swims in her local pool.

She was joined by actor and comedian Steve Walls for her first swim, but has since been joined by Anthony Costa from boyband Blue and a pantomime cast, Matt Pagan from Collabro, ex-professional footballers Darren Williams, Lee Howey and Gordon Armstrong, radio presenters Alfie Joey, Anna Foster, Tom Campbell and Martin Lowes, Paralympic British swimmer Lyndon Longhorne, and more.

She has swims lined up with singer Michelle Heaton, rugby player Matt Thompson and singers Jessica Pease and Sam Ebenezer.

Petra said: “There are not enough words to describe how proud I am of my eldest daughter, she really does amaze me every day with her strength and determination.

“She tells everybody we meet about her campaign and how she’s helping other children like herself and getting everybody to listen that siblings grieve too.

“I admire her courage so much and I wish I had half her strength.

“She gives me the strength I need daily and her and my other children are the reason I was determined to make a difference around sibling loss.

“My ‘mini me’ Emelia-Paige is not just my daughter, she is my best friend and she keeps Darcey’s memory alive just as much as me in the conversations we have daily.”

For more about the swims visit Facebook page @10lengthsfordarcey

For more about the charity visit www.darceysdream.com