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‘The perfect way to keep her memory alive’: Grandfather opens charity store for late wife

PUBLISHED: 17:20 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:52 06 March 2019

Five-year-old Layla pictured with her late grandmother, Julie Dickerson. Picture: Contributed by Dickerson family

Five-year-old Layla pictured with her late grandmother, Julie Dickerson. Picture: Contributed by Dickerson family

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A grandfather has opened a shop to raise money for cystic fibrosis after his granddaughter was diagnosed with the disease.

Jade Dickerson said: Jade Dickerson said: "Layla was very close to her grandmother and they absolutely adored each other. She would be so proud of her and how she copes every day"

David Dickerson, 52,sold his bungalow in Beccles and invested in a charity store to help raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and help fight the illness for his five-year-old granddaughter Layla.

Through various fundraising events, Layla’s family have pulled together £15,000 since 2016.

The charity shop, on Hungate in Beccles, is lovingly named after Mr Dickerson’s late wife and grandmother to Layla, Julie.

“My mum passed away 18 months ago. She was diagnosed with cancer and passed away really quickly,” Layla’s mother, Jade Dickerson said.

The charity shop on Hungate in Beccles is lovingly named after Mr Dickerson’s late wife and grandmother to Layla, Julie. Picture: Contributed by Dickerson familyThe charity shop on Hungate in Beccles is lovingly named after Mr Dickerson’s late wife and grandmother to Layla, Julie. Picture: Contributed by Dickerson family

“We named it Nanny Julie because that is what my little girl called her. Layla was very close to her grandmother and they absolutely adored each other.

“She would be so proud of her and how she copes every day - her wish was that a cure could be found and we feel this is the perfect way to keep her memory alive.”

The mother-of-two said Julie loved charity shops and to create one in her memory was fitting.

“My dad was really in a position where he could set one up and we noticed there are no charity stores raising money for cystic fibrosis.”

The charity shop on Hungate in Beccles is lovingly named after Mr Dickerson’s late wife and grandmother to Layla, Julie. Picture: Contributed by Dickerson familyThe charity shop on Hungate in Beccles is lovingly named after Mr Dickerson’s late wife and grandmother to Layla, Julie. Picture: Contributed by Dickerson family

The 28-year-old said the store will sell all second-hand goods such as clothing, children’s toys and clothes, furniture as well as gardening equipment.

“I can’t think of any charity stores who sell gardening stuff, we also have big bits of furniture,” she added, “some of the stuff people are donating is brand new - it is crazy what people throw away.”

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, it is an inherited disease caused by a faulty gene which controls the movement of salt and water in and out of cells, so the lungs and digestive system become clogged with mucus. The disease is a life-shortening genetic condition and only half will live to celebrate their fortieth birthday.

The store opened its doors on Friday, March 8 at 9am after a ribbon cutting ceremony, tea and cake.

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