12-Year-Old Girl To Light Bonfire
A 12 year old girl from Sheffield, who was seriously injured in a car crash which killed her mother, will be pushing the button to light the bonfire at After Dark tonight.
Lauren Stacey, Sheffield Star Child of the Year, was left in a medically induced coma and battling for her life when her mother’s car was hit by a fire engine responding to a hoax 999 call in June last year. Her mother, Nicola, was tragically killed in the crash.
Despite an initially poor outlook, Lauren has been able to learn to walk, talk and eat again, and has managed to return to school.
Barry Stevens, Lauren’s dad and Nicola’s partner of 16 years, will accompany Lauren as she lights the bonfire, along with Kate Petchey, the family’s solicitor from law firm Irwin Mitchell, sponsors of the event.
The After Dark firework extravaganza will take place at the purpose built Don Valley Grass Bowl tonight, Thursday 5 November.
After Dark is a fantastic family evening attracting visitors from across the region. Up to 18,000 people are expected to attend the annual event, which alongside the bonfire and fireworks will boast guest stars Miss Frank from X-Factor, a funfair, and food stalls.
Kate Petchey said: “Irwin Mitchell is proud to be sponsoring After Dark again, and we are all looking forward to a great night. It’s one of the best family events in Sheffield and we know everyone will have a great time.
“We are delighted that Lauren and Barry are able to attend the event and switch on the bonfire. They have overcome such tragic circumstances to be here and it is the opportunity to help people like this that makes our job so worthwhile.”
The fireworks will be started, at a safe distance, by pupils from Phillimore Park Primary School, one of Irwin Mitchell’s ‘Right to Read’ partners. The firm is the largest supporter of the Business in the Community (BITC) scheme in South Yorkshire with more than 50 staff voluntarily attending schools on a weekly basis to help children aged 7-11 with their literacy.
After Dark will take kick off at 5.30pm at the Don Valley Grass Bowl, with the bonfire lit at 7.30pm and fireworks from 8.30pm. Tickets are available on the night for £8 adults and £4 children under-14.