A NINE-year-old skater will take to the ice next week in memory of her grandmother in a bid to raise money for charity.

Ava Wilson has teamed up with the Basingstoke Ice Skating Club for its annual winter gala to support Macmillan Cancer Support after the nine-year-old’s ‘Nanny Edd’ died due to cancer.

Ava wanted to do something to remember her Nanny Edd, who died earlier this year, and the club along with Ava’s parents Olivia and Mark decided Macmillan Cancer Care would be the perfect beneficiary.

The young ice skater said: “My nan was ill with cancer and she sadly and slowly passed away. I wanted to do this gala in her memory.”

To kickstart the fundraising hosts of the event on Friday, 22 December, Planet Ice will be donating the normal cost of the ice time for the skating gala to the charity.

The winter gala will get underway at 5.15pm and will feature a wide range of skaters performing, including 2015 British senior ladies champion Danielle Harrison, Ava herself and a number of skaters from the various teams and clubs based at the rink.

A spokesman from Basingstoke Ice Skate Club said: “When told of Ava’s desire to hold a gala in her nan’s honour, the club immediately knew we had to support this effort. We offered our ice time to hold the event and to help in any way we could.

“Despite a financially challenging year for the club, we knew we had to support Ava and our skating community to help raise money for this great charity.

“If people cannot support such a worthy cause at this time of year, there is something wrong.”

In praising the efforts of her daughter and how proud they are for wanted to do this in her nan’s memory, a joint statement from Ava’s parents read: “On September 11, 2017 Ava sadly lost her Nanny Edd after a long battle with terminal cancer.

“Nothing will ever replace the special bond they shared but Ava really wanted to do something special to remember her by.

“Nanny loved nothing more than to watch Ava skate, so it seems particularly fitting to be able to organise a charity skating event in her honour and raise money for the amazing people who provide support to those living with life limiting illness.”

Entry to the gala is a suggested donation of £2 per person.

There will also be numerous activities around the Planet Ice rink to help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.