Funeral directors aiming to hit £100,000 in memory of nine-year-old Liam

Mark Skinner Funeral Service have set up a stall on Brandon Market

Mark Skinner Funeral Service have set up a stall on Brandon Market in a bid to raise money for new play equipment in memory of Liam Hills. Pictured is Liam's mum, Sarah Hills and aunty, Lou Atkins. - Credit: Emily Thomson

A funeral director have been “inundated” with donations, as it hopes to raise money for a new playground in memory of a much-loved nine-year-old. 

And Mark Skinner Funeral Service has set up a new stall on Brandon Market in a bid to raise more than £100,000 towards new playground equipment in memory of Liam Hills, with a portion of the money also going towards a life-changing aid for local girl, Bethany Shaw. 

This comes after the death of nine-year-old Liam last year, which left his family and the community devastated

Liam Hills and his mum Sarah Hills. Liam lost his battle to cancer on September 2, 2020. Photo: Sara

Liam Hills and his mum Sarah Hills. Liam lost his battle to cancer on September 2, 2020. Photo: Sarah Hills - Credit: Sarah Hills

In his memory, Liam’s mum, Sarah Hills, wanted to build a new and improved play area for children at Brandon Remembrance Field to replace the old and worn equipment. 

Funeral director Mark Skinner has been helping the family to raise the funds and on Thursday, July 1, the business set up its first market stall. 

Mr Skinner said it will be there every Thursday until the target is reached. 

Mark Skinner Funeral Service market stall in Brandon

Wanda Betts from the Crime Prevention Panel, mum of Liam Hills, Sarah Hills, and Mark Skinner, from Mark Skinner Funeral Service, at Brandon Market. - Credit: Emily Thomson

 

“After Liam's funeral we were on a mission to raise money for the replacement of the playing field playpark,” he said.


You may also want to watch:


“But fundraising had to be put on hold because of Covid.

"Today is our first week on the stall and it has been amazing. We know it won’t be like that every week but we all feel very positive. We have all been overwhelmed with the amount of generosity. 

Most Read

“And for Sarah it feels like Liam and his memory is being kept alive.”

In a recent appeal, the family of 17-year-old Bethany Shaw – who is severely disabled - set up a JustGiving page for a piece of equipment to help give her a better quality of life. 

Mr Skinner has also pledged to put 25pc of what they raise towards Bethany’s cause. 

Bethany Shaw, from Brandon, suffers with cask gene mutation and scoliosis

Bethany Shaw, from Brandon, suffers with cask gene mutation and scoliosis - Credit: David Shaw

Liam’s family, Mark Skinner and Bethany Shaw’s father, David Shaw, could be seen on the busy market on Thursday. 

Wanda Betts, chairman of Crime Prevention Panel, based in Mildenhall, also attended and handed over a cheque of £1,000. 

Mark Skinner Funeral Service have set up a stall at Brandon Market to raise money for new playground equipment.

From left to right, Lou Atkins, David Shaw, Wanda Betts, Sarah Hills and Mark Skinner. Mark Skinner Funeral Service have set up a stall at Brandon Market to raise money for new playground equipment. - Credit: Emily Thomson

Ms Hills, 35, said: “Our little Liam, the boy who keeps on giving. 

“It was an emotional morning but so heart-warming. So many people have come along to buy something, donate items or just donate money. It’s the community spirit. 

“We can’t thank everybody enough.” 

As well as the market stall, Mark Skinner Funeral Service say they have many fundraising ideas in the pipeline.

To donate you can visit the market stall every Thursday in Brandon or email Mr Skinner at, mail@mark-skinner.org.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter