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PENDANTS GIFT FOR PARENTS HIT BY THEFT; Community rallys & turns baby ashes into keepsake.

Byline: SHAUNA CORR

PARENTS whose daughter's ashes were stolen have been given a Christmas gift to restore faith in humanity.

The baby's remains were the only thing taken by burglars who targeted the family's home in North Belfast on December 12.

But Shankill group Community First discovered baby Holly's grandparents were given a tiny amount of her remains after she was stillborn in November 2016.

So they approached a local jeweller about pendants for her parents Claire Smallwood and Paddy Mulholland that would hold her remaining ashes forever.

But Stephen Harrison from the Shankill's SKS Jewellers was so touched by the gesture that he donated them.

Community First's Stephen Paul said: "It's not going to take away the pain and suffering they have had to go through.

"We thought there was no remaining ashes but we found out that both grannies had been given a small amount at the time.

"We had thought of getting the ashes turned into a crystal but because there was very little we were a wee bit wary of losing them again.

"We thought of the pendant where the ashes go inside, they are sealed and you can't open them again. I went into SKS, we were going to buy them, but after explaining to Stephen who owns SKS he donated them.

"We got them delivered through a friend so as not to intrude and Claire's friend got back to us right away and said she was absolutely amazed and couldn't thank us enough.

"We were thinking they could get some of those ashes into it and they will always be wearing them after what they have gone through."

Stephen Harrison, from SKS, added: "It wasn't nice what the family went through. We were a wee bit took back by it.

"Community First are doing a great job for the whole community and not just this family."

The group was set up to help those whose houses were damaged by a bonfire two years ago.

Since then they have been organising help for those in need across the district.

They recently fundraised for an epilepsy sensor for the bed of a five-year-old who has been taking silent seizures.

Mr Paul added: "The NHS weren't able to get the bed monitors so we fundraised to buy that for them.

"We handed that over to them last week and so it gives them a wee bit of peace of mind. They also got them a pager so they will know.

"If people in the community need help they can come to us."

shauna.corr@trinitymirror.com

CAPTION(S):

PRECIOUS MEMORIES Paddy Mulholland holds ashes box ransacked during break-in at home

SYMBOL OF HOPE Necklaces donated to couple

TENDER Claire and Paddy with baby Holly

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 23, 2017
Words:457
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