Loved ones mark 21st birthday of amateur boxer killed in sunbed tragedy with fundraiser

Sharna Gardner with daughter Rhkiya-Mae, and family and friends at their fundraiser for the Great North Air Ambulance, held at the Armstrong Hall.
Sharna Gardner with daughter Rhkiya-Mae, and family and friends at their fundraiser for the Great North Air Ambulance, held at the Armstrong Hall.

Loved ones of a popular teenager who died three years ago held an ‘amazing’ fundraiser on what would have been his 21st birthday.

Grant Adams was just 17 when he tripped into an upstanding sunbed at his home in South Shields, suffering horrific throat injuries.

Grant Adams died in 2014 after a sunbed accident at his home.

Grant Adams died in 2014 after a sunbed accident at his home.

Friends and family of the amateur boxer, who was a member at Horsley Hill Amateur Boxing Club, came together to mark what would have been his 21st birthday and raised funds for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

Grant was flown by the air ambulance to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary after the accident in June 2014.

Among those at the fundraiser were Grant’s daughter Rhkiya-Mae, who was born just weeks after the tragedy, and her mum, Sharna Gardner.

Sharna said: “It was amazing.

It was nice to see everyone together to celebrate and to help such a good cause

Sharna Gardner

“It was an emotional night for everyone who was close to Grant.

“It was nice to see everyone together to celebrate and to help such a good cause.

“We’re thinking about doing a similar event every year for his memory, because as well as coming together to remember Grant, we know the funds are going to a really good cause that means a lot to us.”

The fundraiser was held at Armstrong Hall, in Stanhope Road, South Shields.

There were raffles and tombolas to raise funds, as well as activities for children, including a bouncy castle and face painting.

Sharna was delighted with the turnout, with about 200 people having attended.

She added: “It was such a lovely turnout, with a lot more people there than we expected.

“I’d like to thank everyone for coming along, donating money and buying the raffle tickets.

“There were even people there who didn’t know Grant, but wanted to come out of respect and to donate money.

“Everything went really well and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.”