Grandson of former Stevenage mayor who died suddenly raises charity funds in her memory

PUBLISHED: 14:45 08 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:45 08 July 2019

Malakai, Josh and Ahisha completed the Inflatable 5k in memory of Sherma. Picture: Ahisha Ferguson.

Malakai, Josh and Ahisha completed the Inflatable 5k in memory of Sherma. Picture: Ahisha Ferguson.

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The seven-year-old grandson of a community activist who suffered an aneurysm and died aged just 59 has helped raise more than £300 for a brain injury charity in her memory.

Community activist Sherma Batson died suddenly in 2017. Picture courtesy of Ahisha Ferguson.Community activist Sherma Batson died suddenly in 2017. Picture courtesy of Ahisha Ferguson.

Sherma Batson was a long-standing member of Stevenage Borough Council, the first female black mayor of the town and a community activist. In January 2017 she collapsed and died suddenly, leaving the community in shock.

Sherma's daughter, Ahisha Ferguson, and Ahisha's husband Josh and son Malakai have now completed the Inflatable 5k in St Albans in her memory, to raise money for Headway Hertfordshire - a charity dedicated to improving life after brain injury.

Ahisha said: "While many people sadly pass away from aneurysms every year, there are also people who survive but have to rebuild their lives again.

"It's something I think about daily because, had mum survived, we would have heavily relied on Headway for support and help with her recovery.

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"Over my mum's short 59 years she raised over £250,000 for charity and was awarded an MBE for her works. We have a lot of catching up to do."
The trio raised £310 for Headway Hertfordshire. Ahisha said: "We'd never run anything in our lives, so Josh and I were both quite nervous.

"We ran, climbed and jumped our way through the 5k inflatable obstacle course."

Josh has sickle cell disease - a genetic condition which produces unusually shaped red blood cells that do not live as long as healthy blood cells and can block blood vessels. Symptoms include painful episodes, anaemia and an increased risk of serious infections.

Ahisha said: "Josh suffers long-term mobility issues to do with his sickle cell, so this was extremely difficult for him.

"We completed it in 55 minutes, despite Josh's back and hip pain. My son also did very well too - he would have lapped us if he could have. I'm proud of my boys."

About her mum, Ahisha said: "She was a pillar of the community and is missed by her hometown. She worked tirelessly to help others.

"She is missed everyday by all who knew her, especially her family and wonderful husband Howard."
You can still support the cause and make a donation via justgiving.com/fundraising/5kforshermabatson.

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