Parents' plea over annual memorial event for inspirational baby Brooke

Ripon couple Sophie and Nick Horsburgh with their family.
Ripon couple Sophie and Nick Horsburgh with their family.

A Ripon family are calling on the community to support their 4th annual Family Fun Day at Ripon City AFC in memory of their inspirational baby daughter Brooke.

Brooke Horsburgh, who tragically passed away in 2012 just before her first birthday, has inspired her family and friends to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust, the charity which provided vital support during her short life.
To date, the family have raised more than £3,000 for the charity, which provides free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation, as well as emotional and practical support for families with critically ill children, and they are hoping this year’s event will be their biggest yet.
When Brooke required specialist treatment at two hospitals many miles from home, The Sick Children’s Trust supported her family at their Eckersley and Crawford Houses.
This meant they could stay just minutes from Brooke’s bedside and make the most of every moment they had with their baby girl.
Brooke was born six weeks prematurely in March 2011 and had a long battle with breathing and feeding difficulties before tragically passing away the following year, just weeks before her first birthday.
Sophie and Nick, are hosting the event for its fourth year.
Mum Sophie said: “It was heart breaking for Nick and I to see our little girl go through so very much, but Brooke was so brave and fought so hard until the end.
"The Sick Children’s Trust enabled us to be with Brooke and create our own special memories. And when the time came, for us all to say our goodbyes, she passed away surrounded by the love of her family.”
The Family Fun Day will take place at noon on Saturday, August 6 at Ripon City AFC.
The activities will include a bouncy castle, BBQ, charity football match, face painting, stalls, games and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses.
Donations will be collected on the gate for The Sick Children’s Trust. Sophie, Nick and their three children Rhys, nine, Harrison, three, and Paige, one, are hoping the local community will come together to support the event and fundraise in memory of Brooke.
Jane McHale, Eckersley House Manager, said: “Brooke was such an inspiration and it is so moving to know her family still remember the support we gave them during such a distressing time.
"We are so grateful for everyone who has helped them fundraise to support other families in difficult situations.
"It costs us £30 to support a family for one night in our ‘Homes from Home’ so the money raised at their 4th Family Fun Day will go directly towards supporting families in need. Thank you.”
Mum Sophie said she hoped everyone in the area would come along and have fun and support this good cause.
She said: “The houses felt like a ‘Home from Home’, especially Eckersley House which really did become like our second home.
"We know the charity relies entirely on donations, which is why we wanted to raise money in Brooke’s memory.
"Last year was a fantastic day and we’re hoping the community will come forward and join in the fun again this year to do Brooke proud!”

The Horsburgh family's baby daughter Brooke before she passed away.

The Horsburgh family's baby daughter Brooke before she passed away.