A HOSPICE has been presented with more than £2,000 in memory of a girl who suffered from cerebral palsy.

The family of Samantha Leah Tingle, who died in October last year after suffering a chest infection, last night presented Butterwick Children’s Hospice with a cheque for £1,625.50 following their latest fundraising effort.

The money has been raised thanks to generous theatre audiences up and down the country after Samantha’s grandmother, theatre promoter Arlene Johnson, made collections at performances of Mowtown cabaret show How Sweet It Is.

A collection was also made at Samantha’s funeral.

The stage show was held in the family’s home town at Darlington Civic Theatre last night, where Ms Johnson and Samantha’s mother, Wendy, handed over the funds to the Stockton-based hospice.

Samantha received respite care at the hospice, which gives free support to children with life-limiting illnesses and assists their families.

Ms Johnson, from Cockerton, Darlington, said: “We wanted to do something positive and the hospice was really good to Samantha.

“We thought collecting from audiences would be a good way to raise some money.

“We started last year and also collected at her funeral.

So far, we have given the hospice cheques for £238.61, £145 and £111, as well as the £1.625.50, so we have raised more than £2,000.”

She said her granddaughter was a lovely child.

“She was very happy, considering she was so disabled,”

said Ms Johnson. “She knew my voice – when I used to walk in and say ‘Sammy’, she knew who it was.”

Samantha’s mother, Wendy, also from Cockerton, wrote a tribute to her daughter, describing her as a brave little girl and an angel.

It said: “Sweetheart, you have been such a brave little girl over the last 11 years, you have been through so much in your short little life.

“An angel, that is what you are and always will be sweetheart.

Mummy loves you more then you could ever know, you are her little angel.

“Nothing and nobody can hurt you again sweetheart, sleep tight, it’s now time for your greatnanna and grandad to look after you.

“I can’t think of anyone that knows you, Sam, that does not love you, sweetheart.

“Enjoy your freedom angel, fly, fly, fly, then walk, walk, walk. Have a ball up there, spread your wings and fly.”