Community raises over £3,000 for hospice that cared for brave and inspirational Padiham youngster Tia

Family and friends at the 10 for Tia challenge which raised over 3,000
Family and friends at the 10 for Tia challenge which raised over 3,000
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A closeknit town has raised the fantastic sum of £3,683 in memory of a brave schoolgirl whose courage touched the hearts of people across the world.

A collection held at the funeral of Padiham youngster Tia Taggart, who died in April at the age of 10, raised £598.

Beautiful and brave Tia inspired so many people with her courageous battle against cancer.

Beautiful and brave Tia inspired so many people with her courageous battle against cancer.

And a 10 For Tia challenge staged by Justine Taylor, a teaching assistant at Tia's school, St John the Baptist RC Primary, made £3,683.

All the money will be donated to Derian House children's hospice who provided care for Tia.

Tia's dad, Lee said: "We would like to thank everyone who made a donation.

"I am sure the lovely people at Derian will put the money to good use. Although Tia never had a chance to stay at Derian they did provide hospice care at home so we could keep Tia in her home where she wanted to be for the last two weeks of her life.

"For this we will be forever thankful."

Family, friends and colleagues joined Justine to complete her 10 for Tia challenge.

Justine and her supporters ran 10k, swim 10 lengths and then cycle 10 miles... in under three hours!

It was named 10 for Tia to celebrate every year that she lived.

Justine set herself a £200 target so she was stunned when she eventually raised over £3,000.

And as a lovely tribute to Tia, who was known for her beaming smile and cheeky and mischievous personality, the group dressed as one of the youngster's favourite animals.. a pink unicorn!

Justine said: "I am totally overwhelmed with what we have achieved, and I am lost for words at the generosity and support off so many people."

Highlights of the day included Tia's older sister Tegan performing the honours of cutting the starting ribbon at Padiham Leisure Centre... before she jumped into the pool fully clothed!
Tia united the community of Padiham with her Jet Set Angels that began as a class project at school and blossomed from there.

Starting originally as a project to raise money to help Tia's family after she was diagnosed with cancer, the project to make little key-ring angels took off and there are now 30,000 of them across seven continents.

Several celebrities backed the cause and even members of the Royal family.

Tia and her classmates raised thousands of pounds for the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, where she was treated after she was first diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma.

She had tumours in her pelvis and legs and had to undergo rounds of radiotherapy to treat her bone and lung cancers.