FAMILY and friends have come together to start fundraising for a memorial bench.
In just a few weeks, people in Gosport have rallied together to raise hundreds for the new bench which is in memory of Joe Gower.
My favourite memories of the boys are them at Stokes Bay.Elise Gower
The five-year-old died in November 2013 from a brain tumour.
To ensure his memory lives on in his home town, the bench is planned for Stokes Bay Splash Park.
It will cost £950 and, thanks to the generosity of the community, Joe’s family – mum Elise, dad Alan and twin brother Jay – are already over the halfway mark.
Elise said: ‘When Joe died in 2013, we wanted to do the bench but it seemed like quite a long process.
‘Then I was running with a friend earlier this year and said I regretted not doing it as it would be something for the whole community to remember Joe by. My favourite memories of the boys are them at Stokes Bay.
‘I spoke with a friend of mine with links to Gosport Borough Council and she sorted it but I was then sent an invoice for £950.’
Elise was unsure how they were going to pay for the bench but thanks to family friend Lee Rhodes and Absolute Running, fundraising for the bench started.
She added: ‘We have about £600 now and that’s really thanks to Lee and his partner Lisa Rhodes and Nick from Absolute Running. We hope to have enough to get the bench set up in October.’
Lisa added: ‘This was such a great idea that we just wanted to support it.
‘Lots of people and organisations in Gosport have contributed which is nice because the bench will be somewhere the community can remember Joe.’
The bench will be the second in memory of Joe.
Last year, Alverstoke Infant School installed a bench and planted a tree to remember Joe.
To make a donation, visit Nick Carter at Absolute Running in Stoke Road, Gosport.