A Great Sankey family is gearing up to complete a series of fundraising challenges in memory of their little girl who died last year.

Lily Bennett was just two years old when she suffered a cardiac arrest and subsequent brain injuries, after having a heart operation at a few months old.

The toddler spent New Year’s Eve 2019 in ICU at Alder Hey and a month on intensive care but she never recovered and died just after her third birthday in June 2020.

Lily’s family – mum Cheryl, dad Gareth, brother Louis and sister Betsy – have been supported throughout her battle, and since she died, by Claire House Children Hospice and The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT).

Together with friends and family they are hoping to raise money for the charities as a way of keeping her memory alive and as a thank you for everything they have done.

Warrington Guardian: Lily's family From left Dad Gaz Bennett, mum Cheryl Bennett, Louis (Lily’s brother), and Lily’s uncle Phil holding Lily’s cousin AlbieLily's family From left Dad Gaz Bennett, mum Cheryl Bennett, Louis (Lily’s brother), and Lily’s uncle Phil holding Lily’s cousin Albie

Cheryl, who is 43, said: “Claire House provided respite care for Lily and also end of life care and their ongoing support is amazing.

“CAFT provides care for children with life-limiting illnesses as well as support for bereaved families.

“We have several milestones coming up, like Lily’s birthday and the one-year anniversary of her death, and we wanted to focus our thoughts on these two dates.

“Due to the pandemic, friends and family felt helpless when Lily died and they wanted to do something with us in her memory.”

Cheryl and Gareth will be climbing the Three Peaks in Yorkshire with Lily’s uncle Phil, and Gareth and Phil will also be taking on the Coast to Coast challenge, cycling 180 miles in one weekend with 11-year-old Louis running a marathon over the course of a week to start off the fundraising drive to reach £10,000.

Warrington Guardian:

The fundraising events will all take place between Sunday, April 18, which would have been Lily’s 4th birthday, and Tuesday, June 1, which marks the one year anniversary of her death.

Cheryl said: “We would be so grateful if people could help us to achieve or even smash our fundraising total so that we can give something back to those who give so much to families like ours, who have been through the most difficult times of their lives.”

If you would like to make a donation visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/loveforlilychallenges-2021