Danielle’s memory lives on in fundraising

Stephen Houston of AMEY presents a cheque to Ellen Hillen of NI Children's Hospice.
Stephen Houston of AMEY presents a cheque to Ellen Hillen of NI Children's Hospice.

Stephen Houston, an employee at AMEY in Lurgan’s Annesborough Industrial Estate, told the ‘MAIL’ how fundraising in his daughter’s memory has helped take his mind off the tragic circumstances in which she was taken from him five years ago.

Danielle was 19 when she was killed in a road accident close to her home in Kinallen.

She’d been on the way to her boyfriend’s house in Kilkeel when the accident happened. It became a double tragedy when her boyfriend died two weeks later.

Since losing his daughter Stephen and his colleagues at AMEY have raised £13,500 for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

July 1 will be the five year anniversary of her death.

Stephen, who attends counselling since losing his daughter, said: “It’s something I’ll never get over, but what the fundraising does is it gives you something else to focus on. It helps to put your mind to something else.”

For the last few years Stephen has been focused on helping children with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses in memory of his daughter.

His colleagues at AMEY have been getting active for Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice by taking part in the AMEY annual cycle around the Lurgan area and some members of staff have been taking to the roads cycling and running in other town events.

AMEY match-fund money raised by individuals within the company and they have been most supportive of the fundraising activities undertaken. Stephen is part of the AMEY team based at their depot in Lurgan where the company is delivering a 30-year contract to manage and maintain 125 kilometres of road network for Roads Service which includes the M1, A1 and A4.

Stephen, who has been working at AMEY for nearly seven years, is about to re-marry. Danielle’s mother Michelle has done likewise. They both have had children of their own with their new partners. Stephen has called one of his boys Daniel as a tribute to his late daughter who was an only child.

Ellen Hillen, Corporate Fundraising Manager for Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, said of the efforts of Stephen and AMEY: “We cannot do what we do without the support of the business sector and it is always a pleasure to meet with Stephen and the AMEY team and receive the money they have so generously raised to help us care for local children who desperately need our support.”

For more information visit nihospice.org or contact Ellen Hillen on 9078 1836.