Balloons in the wind and flickering candles as a community pays tribute to a little girl whose life was snatched away

A woman cradles a candle in her hands as she and her daughter fight back tears.

Others huddle together, gripping each other’s hands tightly and embracing one another.

It’s three degrees and pouring with rain, but hundreds still ventured out to pay respects to a little girl killed after she was hit by a car.

At just ten years old, Lily Rose Morris had barely lived.

Her last moments were spent playing out beside her best friend.

As other children prepare for the excitement of Christmas, one mother now faces a lifetime of heartache.

Children and their parents held candles and balloons
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

Tonight, a village in mourning came together – just metres from where her life came to an abrupt end.

Hundreds took moments to reflect on how their north Manchester community has been shattered by the youngster’s passing.

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Balloons bobbed in the wind as candle lights flickered.

A condolences book was left open for people to leave handwritten messages.

In a speech, Lily’s school headteacher Neil Cavanagh said the gathering crowds had huddled together to ‘process their own personal grief’.

“It is so amazing to see so many families, friends and school children here to remember Lily,” he started.

“It shows how many have been affected and devastated by her death.

“It shows the light she brought into our lives in her very short life.”

Hundreds of Sholver residents came to this evening’s vigil
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

The vigil, which tonight took place just four days after Lily’s death, was organised by Sholver resident Rachel Harper.

Through running a local Facebook group, the first time she had come across Lily’s mum Mel was reading her comment on a post about the fatal incident.

“Sadly my little girl has lost her life,” she had written.

“I saw Mel’s comment and just knew something had to be done to bring our devastated community together,” Rachel told the M.E.N this evening.

Lily Rose Morris, died in hospital after the accident in Oldham
(Image: GMP)

“I am a mother myself and couldn’t even comprehend what the family would have been going through.

“Organising this was to help Mel and the rest of Lily’s family who must be absolutely heartbroken at this time.

“This turn out is absolutely amazing and it just shows what a wonderful community there is here.

“It is raining and absolutely freezing, and yet all of these hundreds of people have come out to grieve in their own ways.

“Everyone has been shocked and deeply hurt by this awful tragedy.

“It is obvious Lily had so many who loved her lots. Hopefully remembering this night and reading the condolences book will give Mel and her family some comfort in years to come.”

10-year-old Lily Rose Morris was out with her best friend in Sholver on Saturday evening when the pair were hit by a Land Rover.

Despite medics’ best efforts, Lily didn’t make it through and passed away that same evening.

In a tribute to her only daughter, her Mother Mel described her as “beautiful and happy little girl”.

People set balloons free into the sky
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

“Words cannot describe the hurt and pain we are feeling now our little princess has been taken from us,” she said.

“Lily can no longer continue to grow into the amazing and bubbly young lady that she was becoming – no longer able to be the caring big sister that she was.”

To keep Lily in everyone’s thoughts, a bell ring has now been organised for Friday evening, December 24.

People will stand on their doorsteps and ring bells on Christmas Eve.

Organised by Lily’s auntie, Ring for Lily gives people the chance to sound a virtual bell in unison.

“This is just unbelievable and so much more than we could have ever imagined,” said her auntie.

“The support and help from this community our family will remember forever.

“I want the family to be able to sit and hear all the bells ringing on Friday night and know how much everyone adored Lily.”

More than £8,000 has currently been raised to help pay for Lily’s funeral. Donations can be made to the Just Giving page here .

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Manchester Evening News – Oldham