The incredible legacy of Hollie Gazzard

Testament to Hollie Gazzard’s popularity is the incredible £31,000 raised in her name.

Soon after her death the Churchdown family started tirelessly fundraising in a bid to help others in the future.

The Hollie Gazzard Trust will help pass on the 20-year-old’s passion for hairdressing, by paying for training, as well as educate youngsters about domestic violence and try to reduce knife crime in Gloucester.

It will be working with Gloucestershire College and help pay for qualifications and equipment of hairdressers from deprived backgrounds.

The family has also joined forces with the Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service to send counsellors into schools and teach teenagers about the signs of violence.

Dad Nick said:
Anything we can do to try to educate youngsters and point what domestic abuse is and where they can get help, we want to do. Hollie was such a good hairdresser – it was her life. She was very stylish and fashion conscious. We know how expensive it is for them to train and we want to those that are less fortunately in terms of finances to become hairdressers in Gloucester and we are quite determined to do that in Hollie’s name.

Jo Minns, head of hairdressing, beauty and holistic therapies at the college, said she was proud to be working with the trust.

Nick has already been to the college’s end of year ceremony to talk to students about the scheme, which will be launched soon.

Jo said:
Everyone was touched by what they will be doing. Although it was emotional listening to him speak, it was so positive. Final decisions are still being made, but it will contribute greatly for those wanting to become hairdressers. We do have individuals who struggle financially and sadly some will leave education because of that burden and the need to work. The family have done an amazing job at getting Hollie’s name out and the hairdressing community is a close knit one, so the trust is something close to everyone’s heart.
Her family are remarkable and their strength and determination are just inspirational. They never seem to dwell on the negative. What they have done is something that will impact people for a long time. It really is something positive out of something so tragic.

Sally Morrissey, support services manager for Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS), said:

It is quite a new initiative so we are only in the process of starting to discuss working together for them to fund work going forward. If it happens, which I’m sure it will, it will be really helpful for us to work with young people to try and raise awareness of domestic abuse. We recognise Hollie Gazzard herself was a young woman and the number of young victims being referred to our service is going up. We want to raise the awareness in schools because we know it is happening to young people. It is important we are able to do work with them about what domestic abuse is, how to recognise it and what to do if they are concerned about it. I think it has had quite a dramatic affect. Everywhere you go everybody has heard of Hollie and the work the trust is doing is keeping the issue in the minds of the public. It is amazing what the family has done to raise money and to keep the profile of the issue alive as Hollie’s death was tragic and awful but they are determined that something good has to come out of that.