£20,000 raised for air ambulance in memory of Melton horse rider within year of her death

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Friends and family of a Melton woman who died in a horse riding accident have achieved their goal of raising £20,000 for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) within a year of her tragic death.

Caroline Harvey (40) died in March 2014 after breaking her neck when she fell from her horse while jumping a fence during a drag hunt.

Thanks to her speedy air evacuation she survived for just under a week in hospital allowing her family to spend precious time with her and say their goodbyes before she succumbed to a chest infection.

A Country Chic Shindig event- held at the Melton’s Market Tavern in October - raised £8,000 towards the fundraising target. The cheque was handed over last week.

Over 200 guests enjoyed a drinks reception, four course meal, live band, raffle and auction with gifts and prizes donated by local businesses.

Caroline’s stepdaughter, Olivia Parry, who helped organise the event with Sophie Cullumbine, said: “It was an amazing event and a wonderful night full of laughter. Having had such a fantastic night and raising such an amazing sum it only seems right to give everyone a chance to continue to support the DLRAA and hold a similar event this year.

“I’ve been amazed by the support from the local businesses and community and a special thank you must go to Sophie and her flower fairies at Sophie’s Flower Shop, who dressed the venue and worked so hard to make the night exactly what we wanted.”

Sophie Burt, of the DLRAA, said: “We’re very grateful. £8,000 is an amazing sum to be raised. It will pay for nearly five missions which is an incredible achievement. We get no Government funding so supporters such as Olivia and Sophie are invaluable.”

Some of Caroline’s friends also put together and sold a calendar made up of tasteful photos of themselves involved in the countrywide pursuits their friend enjoyed so much. Over 800 calendars were sold raising an additional £8,000.

Olivia said: “Our aim was to raise £20,000 in Caroline’s memory within 12 months of her death. Through the Country Chic Shindig, calendar and justgiving page, we’ve done so.” Donate at www.justgiving.com/carolineharvey2014