Crowds gathered this morning outside Fringe Benefits and La Bella Beauty Salon where the memorial seat will provide a lasting legacy to the popular hairdresser. Nick said: “We miss her and talk to her every day. “We think about her all the time, but it’s in a positive way now – for what she stands for, what her legacy means and all the positive things that have happened in the last two years.” Nick started the Hollie Gazzard trust after his daughter’s death in 2014.
The trust raises money for a number of causes, such as the Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service and Increase the Peace, which aims to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour. Last autumn, the Trust launched a new personal safety app.
Nick added: “We hope the bench is a fitting tribute to Hollie and also something the city of Gloucester can be proud of. Hopefully we’re helping a lot of people, which is what Hollie’s legacy is all about.” The trust is now working across the country, having recently organised events in Lancashire and London. Hollie’s Grandfather David Jenkins said: “It will never go away. Never. “You learn to live with it, but every so often something comes up that plucks at the heart strings and you suddenly remember something. “It might be something you read in the paper, another similar event, and it brings the memories back. “Nowadays it seems some people think the only way to solve a problem is to take out a weapon.”
Hollie’s sister Chloe Gazzard, 25, said she hoped events like the one today would keep Hollie’s memory alive and that the bench would be something for everyone to remember her by. An emotional Chloe said: “I miss Hollie incredibly. Every day, every single day. “It’s really hard, with the anniversary this week it’s just a very difficult time. “But it’s important to be here and good that people can come and remember her and think of the good times, rather than the tragic event that happened.”
The event came just a few weeks after the launch of Gloucestershire Police’s knife surrender campaign, which aims to encourage people carrying a knife to hand them in at a police station with no questions asked. Richard Berry, assistant chief constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary, said: “Since her death, the work of the Hollie Gazzard Trust has been absolutely amazing in terms of community safety and initiatives to try and prevent stalking. “These events are really important and symbolic and it puts a marker down in the community that says we are not going to tolerate this.” Asher Maslin is serving a minimum of 24 years behind bars for Hollie’s murder.
As featured on the gloucestercitizen.co.uk