A BEREAVED family have spoken of their gratitude after a community turned out in force to raise money in a tragic tot’s honour.
Layton John Cleaver was just 16 months old when he died of meningococcal septicaemia in October 2009.
The Hetton youngster’s death left his loving parents David and Kimberley and the rest of his family devastated.
More than 25 members of a Slimming World group from the town decided to do something in his memory and held a charity walk, which they hope will have raised £1,000.
The cash will go towards Layton’s Forever Fund, which helps Meningitis UK’s research into the disease.
Walkers began and ended their journey at the Victory Club, in Hetton, which is run by Layton’s grandparents Lynda and Ian Heath.
David and Kimberley met those taking part to offer their thanks.
Lynda, 54, said: “We are so happy with every single penny that has been raised.
“It’s been a fabulous turnout and it was important to us.
“It’s such a personal thing to our family and we are delighted with what people have done.”
They walked along Houghton Road then towards Rainton Bridge and on to North Road before returning to the Richard Street pub.
Hetton resident Andrea Webb, 42, who is a member of the group, helped to organise the walk.
She said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic.
“The rain held off until after we got back to the club and hundreds of people came along to meet us and have a drink.
“We’ve managed to raise £470 through the tombola and raffles, so we are hoping that we are going to reach our £1,000 target.
“There a few people still to get sponsorship in, so we’re hopeful we’ll get there.”