Gracie Spinks’ former colleagues pay tribute to their friend with memorial bench
Staff at the Chesterfield sports centre where Gracie Spinks worked have paid tribute to her by installing a memorial bench.
The bench has been unveiled outside the Queen’s Park Sports Centre in Chesterfield. Gracie worked there as a swimming instructor before her tragic death, and her workmates raised £600 to secure a permanent memorial to her.
Gracie's father, Richard, thanked the staff who came together to pay tribute to her, and said that his daughter’s memory would live on.
“We’d like to thank all the staff here for this contribution, it’s a lasting memory of Gracie. It will be here for a long time, people are going to think about her when they sit down on it, and it’s a great tribute and memorial to her and the memories people have got.
“Everyone has been so complimentary about her, how happy she was, always smiling and good at her job. She touched so many people’s lives, a lot of young kids have been inspired to be swimming teachers after being taught by Gracie, so her legacy will live on.”
Rebecca Truman, an employee at the sports centre, organised the collection. She said the amount of people who donated showed how well-liked Gracie was, and that she will always be remembered by those who worked with her.
"We were all so deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the tragic death of Gracie. She had previously worked as a popular member of our swimming instructor team and we will always fondly remember the time we spent working alongside her.
"Gracie and her family have remained in our thoughts, and we wanted to do something to pay lasting tribute to her – we thought raising money for this memorial bench, which is located outside our sports centre, would provide a place for remembrance and reflection.
“We invited Gracie’s parents to come and meet some of the team who had the joy of working with Gracie, so we could let them know she will never be forgotten.”
Gracie’s family are still pushing the Government to provide more funding for advocates to support victims of stalking. They hope this would also help the police to investigate cases more thoroughly, potentially preventing threats to life.
Their petition has reached nearly 80,000 signatures, and can be found here.