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Florence fundraising for NHS after grandmother dies from Covid-19

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Family of Hazel Hatton say "the reaction people are giving is a comfort to us"

A NEWBURY schoolgirl is selling her things to raise money for the NHS after her grandmother died from coronavirus.

Florence Hatton, aged 10, originally set up the makeshift stall after her grandmother, Hazel Hatton, suffered a fall at Thatcham Court Care Home and was taken to Basingstoke hospital.

She wrote a rainbow-coloured sign saying: “I’m raising money for the NHS – take what you like and put some coins in my box,” before arranging an array of books, toys and DVDs around it – some donated by her brother Joshua, 15.

The sale took on new meaning, however, after Mrs Hatton passed away from Covid-19 on Sunday, April 19, just three days later.

Florence then put up a second sign above the first, saying: “I lost my Grandma to the C-19 last night.

“I’m sad and trying to raise more money to thank all the NHS staff who helped her!

“Thank you for all your donations so far!”

Since it was set up, the stall – which is at the junction of Mayfair Drive and Fifth Road – has raised more than £200.

Florence, who is in Year 6 at St Martin’s Primary School, East End, said: “I set it up because when we heard that my grandmother was in hospital, we were quite worried.

“We just wanted to help out the NHS because we knew they had quite a lot of hard work to do with all the people.

“I just wanted to say thank you to all the people – not only for taking things, but for actually not taking things and still giving money.”

At the time of publication, the display has been taken inside due to the rain, however it will return to the street corner as soon as the sky clears.

Florence’s father and Mrs Hatton’s son Christian said the public’s kindness had comforted the family during this difficult time.

He said: “It’s helped to ease things – as emotional as it’s been in the family, the reaction people are giving is in some weird way a comfort to us.

“I’m very proud of Florence, without a doubt.

“For her, at that age to be thinking along those lines and do something like that...”

Mr Hatton also spoke of the shock of seeing his mother – who was 89 – succumb to the virus as she was in good health.

He continued: “We saw her on Friday before the lockdown and couldn’t see her from that point onwards.

“She had a fall coming out of bed and went to Basingstoke to be checked, and then was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Thursday, April 16.

“She seemed to be in good spirits and everything was fine, then suddenly we got a call on the Sunday saying she wasn’t responding to treatment and just a few hours later we got a call that she’d passed away.

“Everybody feels distant from the virus, but then to have it happen right on your doorstep really brings it home.

“When you have someone in the family who’s died from it, you realise just how serious it is, and you can’t be flippant about it in any way.”

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