Verity's Gift: Charity in memory of devoted mum and wife reaches £100k target to revitalise Emsworth Park

A MUM’S legacy will live on as Emsworth Park is set to be completely revamped thanks to thousands raised in her name.

Verity Turner, who passed away in 2018 aged 33, has been the inspiration for scores of charity supporters to work hard to collect £100,000 for Verity’s Gift.

The charity was set up in Verity’s name by her husband George, who wanted to make major improvements to the play area in Emsworth Park where Verity spent time with their daughter Harriet, six.

After months of hard graft from dozens of people, the charity has raised its target in one year and the work will soon be able to begin.

George Turner with Lisa Saunders and Harriet 6 at Emsworth Park play area Picture: Habibur Rahman

George, known as Topsy, said: ‘When we launched the charity I had no idea how the charity was going to take off like it has.

‘In such a short space of time, we have achieved so much and even in such adverse conditions.

‘The support and generosity we have had from not just the local area but the wider community has been so overwhelming.’

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George Turner and his late wife, Verity

Verity’s Gift was set up in January 2020, with the purpose of raising funds to invest in projects in the area which would benefit the physical and mental wellbeing of young people.

Topsy has worked hard throughout the pandemic to raise funds, helped along the way by friends, local residents and patrons of his business Innovations Fitness who have all taken part in fundraising challenges.

One of the highlights of the fundraising calendar was the Three Peaks Challenge The Hard Way, which raised £10,000.

Along with three friends, Topsy ran up and down Britain’s three highest mountains and cycled between each mountain.

George Turner with his daughter Harriet 6 at Emsworth Park play area Picture: Habibur Rahman

With the play park set to be completed hopefully in June, Topsy said: ‘Losing Verity has left such a void in both Harriet’s and my life and it's a big hole that is hard to fill.

‘Verity’s Gift gives us a great deal of comfort knowing that Verity’s legacy will live on and help those that have experienced loss with children.

‘When the children's play area is finished, it will allow us to see the smiles of the faces of children that will play on it as well as the mums, dads, grannies and grandads.

‘This will help us fill that hole! I’m sure Verity will always be there to spread warmth and happiness on all who play there.’

Through the Community Infrastructure Levy, Havant Borough Council match funded the £45,500 raised by supporters and a generous donation from the J Pritchard Trust.

Alex Rennie, cabinet lead for communications and communities, said: ‘I think it’s absolutely fantastic that we have got a charity like Verity’s Gift. It’ll be a lasting legacy to Verity and her memory.

‘It’s a tough time for everybody and to have a new facility in Emsworth will be absolutely fantastic for all the children

‘I think it will be a brilliant asset for Emsworth and it just goes to show how loved Verity was by her friends, family and the community.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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