Special day for inspirational Hollie Gazzard

‘Inspirational and bright’ Hollie Gazzard will be remembered by her colleagues with a special day.

The 20-year-old was killed as she worked at Fringe Benefits and Le Bella Beauty salon in February.

And her fellow hairdressers are determined to mark her life with a Summer Hollie Day later this year.

Salon owner, Marina Hodgins, and her team of eight are hoping to raise the cash for a uniquely designed bench to be placed outside the Southgate Street shop in Gloucester.

The 46-year-old from Hucclecote said:
Hollie inspired me. She was a bright little spark and she was going to go far. There was something about her and when she started here in September she complimented the team.
She used to come bouncing through the door in the mornings and everyone just loved here – both the staff and customers.

Marina, who has owned the salon for 24 years, said it had been a tough few months for her and the team, following Hollie’s tragic death, but said they had gained strength from Hollie and her remarkable Churchdown family – including dad Nick, mum Mandy and sister Chloe.

She said:
Reopening was hard for all of us and there have been lots of tears. It has been difficult at times, but the staff has been amazing, as have the clients. But we have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of Gloucester. The clients and the community have given us so much strength – people have popped in with gifts, biscuits and chocolates – it has been incredible. I have owned the business for nearly 25 years, but this has really made me realise how special the community of Gloucester really is.

The fundraising day will take place on Sunday, June 1 from 10am to 4pm. It will include live music, coffee, an auction, raffle, face painting, a sweet shop and treatments in return for a donation.

The mum-of-two hopes it will pay for the specially commissioned bench, which is still being designed and she hopes will be placed outside as a memorial.

“Hollie was not a Primark girl, but more of a Jimmy Choo type girl, and so we wanted it to be special and unique – like she was.

“We want it to be a piece of art for Gloucester that people will stop and look at and then see the memorial.

“The thought we are doing something for the community, to pay them back for their generosity, has helped us heal.

“Every day we miss Hollie’s bubbly personality and her natural flair and I’m sure Hollie would have thought the day would be awesome.”

Manager Sian Pryslak, hair designers Lyndsay Smith and Clare Caspell, graduate Lorna Pool, apprentices Micha Robinson and Sophie Berriman and therapist Ellie Hillman are all helping Marina and her husband, Mike, put the event together

The auction is up and there are plenty of prizes already to bid on including a signed Gloucester Rugby shirt, a gite in France, gym vouchers, gift hampers. A raffle is also taking place and tickets can be bought from the shop.

Marina’s eight-year-old son, Michael, a pupil at St Mary’s in Churchdown, has even done a video to promote the event, which can be viewed on their Facebook page .

Any additional funds raised from the event will go towards the Hollie Gazzard Trust, set up by her family, which will support trainee hairdressers in Gloucester and other charities.