A walk in memory of a much-loved sister and friend killed by her partner has helped boost the funds of a hospital unit.
The death of Gemma Finnigan on September 13, 2013, left her family and friends devastated.
Everyone who took part in the walk had Gemma in their hearts.Sharon Potter
The 24-year-old was strangled and stabbed to death by her boyfriend Daniel Johnson, 33, in the home they shared in Church View, Boldon. United by their love of Gemma, her family and friends joined together to take part in a sponsored walk from Seaburn, Sunderland, to South Shields on the second anniversary of her death.
The event was in aid of the Special Care Baby Unit ,which was close to Gemma’s heart, and raised £128.
Sharon Potter, family friend said: “It was such an emotional day. The anniversary fell on the same day as the Great North Run so it was really busy along the coast. But everyone was really accommodating and the organisers of the run were so helpful and even gave the kids bottle of Lucozade to keep them going.
“Everyone who took part in the walk had Gemma in their hearts. What made it more special was when we were in Whitburn the Red Arrows flew over and made a heart symbol in the skies. Then as it faded it looked like a G – it was just a really nice day.”
The walk was one of two fundraising ventures being held in Gemma’s memory. A half-term children’s disco will take place on October 28 at The Mile, in South Shields, from 1pm until 4pm. Gemma was killed in a brutal knife attack carried out by Johnson, who believed she had been possessed by Satan.
He was jailed for life last November after admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Gemma’s mum Jennifer is currently awaiting the result of a Serious Case Review which was launched into the case.
Sharon added: “We have received so much support from local businesses to the event, it really means so much for us and Gemma’s family.”
The half-term disco will feature a raffles, tombolas and children’s mascots.
lTickets, priced £2, are available by contacting Sharon Potter on 07542 627 673 or via the Facebook page Gemma’s disco in aid of scbu.