Friend of Chesterfield's Gracie Spinks creates fundraising pin badge to raise awareness of violence against women
A fundraising pin badge has been created in memory of Chesterfield’s Gracie Spinks following her tragic death aged 23.
Nearly 3,000 of the badges, all of which are emblazoned with the words ‘stop violence against women’, have been dropped off at businesses across Derbyshire in recent days to raise money for Gracie’s family in the wake of her death.
They are the brainchild of Sammi Hancox, owner of Equine Coach and Livery Services in Ashover, who had known avid horse rider Gracie for around two years, having taught her in clinics and private lessons.
Sammi, 26, says she originally ordered just 50 of the badges but soon went to pick up more due to the overwhelming support from members of the community and local businesses who want to distribute them and help spread the word.
She said: “I just thought that when people go to competitions and shows they can wear the badges on their jackets and show support – and people have gone absolutely crazy for them.
“The logo is the hand for stop violence against women and it’s got a horse and rider jumping through the hand. It also says #RideForGracie.
“I originally ordered 50 badges, then got 75, and on Friday I ended up getting nearly 3,000 more from Lincoln as the demand was so high. That 3,000 have pretty much all gone as well now.
"It’s so horrific what has happened but there’s definitely comfort in knowing there is so much support and so many people coming together to get involved to do as much as they can.”
Gracie, who lived in Old Whittington, was killed in a field near Staveley Road, in Duckmanton, on Friday, June 18.
Officers believe she was killed by 35-year-old Michael Sellers – a man she knew – who was later found dead nearby.
Over £12,000 has been raised to help care for her beloved horse Paddy following her death.
Members of the horse riding community are also planning a ‘ride for Gracie’ in which they hope to line the route for her funeral procession in an act of solidarity and condolence.
As well as this, a petition has been set up calling for harsher punishment for stalkers under the name ‘Gracie’s Law’.
Sammi, who says she has been overwhelmed by the kindness of people wanting to donate money for the badges, described her friend as an ‘absolutely amazing’ person.
“She always had the biggest smile, no matter what the weather was or whatever conditions we were training in,” she added.
"She had her own trailer so she was very independent.
"She’d come to the clinics and bring Paddy and at that age not very many people do that, normally their mum or dad bring them. She absolutely loved Paddy and was a brilliant rider.”
The badges are available for a minimum donation of £1.50 from places such as Thomas Irving Equestrian, in Sheepbridge, and The Cock And Magpie pub in Old Whittington.
For further details or a full list of distributors click here.
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