'Remember her love and care for others' - Hundreds come together to celebrate life of 'remarkable' wheelchair-bound fundraiser from Baldock who died aged just 19

PUBLISHED: 08:25 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 08:38 13 October 2016

The memorial service for Victoria Nice at St Mary's Church in Baldock on Monday. Photo: Laurence Browne

The memorial service for Victoria Nice at St Mary's Church in Baldock on Monday. Photo: Laurence Browne

Archant

About 200 people came together in Baldock on Monday to celebrate the life of a 'remarkable' wheelchair-bound fundraiser who has died aged just 19.

Victoria Nice uses the handcrank attachment to her wheelchair to power herself 5km around the Olympic Park in London last month.Victoria Nice uses the handcrank attachment to her wheelchair to power herself 5km around the Olympic Park in London last month.

Victoria Nice, who only last month used a handcrank wheelchair attachment to power herself 5km around London’s Olympic Park for charity Shine, died on September 22 after a lifetime with spina bifida and hydrocephalus – conditions affecting the spine and brain.

And with family, friends and well-wishers looking on at St Mary’s Church – where she worshipped with family – Victoria’s mother Katrina paid a moving tribute to her daughter, stressing her stoic attitude, caring character and unique sense of humour.

“For Victoria, ‘You’re so funny’ was the highest compliment,” said Katrina.

“She was happy in her own skin, and so incredibly giving to others. We hope that having included her in a ‘normal’ family life, we managed to let her be her own person.

Victoria Nice and her mum Katrina at the Olympic Park in London last month.Victoria Nice and her mum Katrina at the Olympic Park in London last month.

“There’s now a huge gaping hole that we have to adjust to. It’s only since Victoria’s death that we’ve realised what a remarkable person she was in the way she touched and enriched the lives of so many people.

“Please remember her smile and her caring, and be inspired by her amazing love and care for others.

“Enjoy your freedom, Victoria. You’ll always be in our hearts.”

Victoria’s handcrank drive for Shine last month was featured on the front page of the Comet’s Letchworth & Baldock edition.

The memorial service for Victoria Nice at St Mary's Church in Baldock on Monday. Photo: Laurence BrowneThe memorial service for Victoria Nice at St Mary's Church in Baldock on Monday. Photo: Laurence Browne

She lived in Baldock from the age of two and served as a sidesperson and acolyte during services at St Mary’s, carrying a candle with the help of a special stand attached to her wheelchair.

She was also the driving force behind the fine disabled toilet facilities in the church hall, and studied at North Herts College in Stevenage.

Katrina stressed her daughter’s childlike nature and original sense of humour, recounting a time Victoria, asked to think up a name for a racehorse, offered ‘Oven Glove’.

In line with the theme of childhood, bright colours were worn, with the vicar Rev Andrew Holford wearing a rainbow-pattern stole. Curate Rev James Sawyer had his fingernails painted in different colours.

'V' for Victoria and the order of service at the memorial service for Victoria Nice at St Mary's Church in Baldock on Monday. Photo: Laurence Browne'V' for Victoria and the order of service at the memorial service for Victoria Nice at St Mary's Church in Baldock on Monday. Photo: Laurence Browne

The two readings included in the service – from the gospels of John and Mark – referred to the ideal of a childlike Christian faith, and the vicar spoke on this topic during his address.

“I’ve never known a funeral or a memorial service so full of the person,” he said.

“This church is full of Victoria.

“Suffice it to say that I feel privileged to have known Victoria, and seen the effect that she had on the lives of people around her.

“Victoria had a simple, uncomplicated faith that befitted her outlook on life. She trusted in God and knew that he was looking after her, and she filled this church with her presence.

“Jesus said: ‘You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.’ It’s clear that he has chosen Victoria, and her life has an ultimate end – peace with God.”

Donations in memory of Victoria to the Wheelyboat Trust, which supplies wheelchair-accessible boats, can be made at justgiving.com/Victoria-N-memory or sent care of EH Crouch Funeral Directors, 23a Hitchin Street, Baldock, SG7 6AQ – call 01462 893191.

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