Friends rally around to help grieving Sheffield mum

Gabrielle Smith of Ecclesall, who died, aged 12, of a suspected seizure in the bath.
Gabrielle Smith of Ecclesall, who died, aged 12, of a suspected seizure in the bath.
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SHOCKED friends and clients are rallying to help devastated Sheffield mother Faye Smith – whose 12-year-old daughter died in a bath-time drowning accident.

A fund has been launched to help ease the financial burden faced by single parent Faye, a self-employed marketing and PR consultant, as she grieves for daughter Gabi.

It is believed Gabi suffered a seizure, fell unconscious and slipped under the water as she took a bath on Saturday.

The alarm was raised by Gabi’s best friend, 10-year-old Rebekah Walton, who had been on a sleepover.

Faye broke down the bathroom door and attempted resuscitation while son Zach, aged 16, dialled 999, but Gabi was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Faye’s business, Keep Your Fork, has helped hundreds of charities, entrepreneurs and small businesses to prosper.

But friends realised she will be without income as she takes time off work to mourn her loss.

Now the business contacts she has made are helping Faye support her son. They are donating to a benevolent fund launched by the family’s church, St Thomas’ Church Philadelphia.

Nick Allan, church leader, said: “We set up the fund so people in our church who were asking how they could financially help Faye and Zach had a method by which they could give.

“We realised very quickly the family will face very real practical needs now and in the months ahead.

“Faye is a self-employed single parent and will need to take time off from work to grieve with her son Zach.

“The donations are to alleviate the financial challenges Faye faces and to help with the costs of Gabi’s funeral.

“We recognise many people from outside our church family are touched by what has happened so the fund is open to anyone who wishes to make donations.”

Zach’s church, All Saints Ecclesall Parish, are also asking congregation members to donate.

n To donate to the fund, visit www.stthomaschurch.org.uk/news/38.

n Gabi’s funeral will be held at All Saints Church, Ecclesall Road South, on Thursday, March 28, at 2pm.