AN “overwhelming” response from Oldhamers has helped highlight life-saving awareness of organ donation in memory of a little girl killed in a hit-and-run.

Amanda and Mike Dowdall and their team at Inkin Tattoos, in Ripponden Road, devoted a day to giving customers free inkings in honour of four-year-old Violet-Grace Youens who was killed in March last year after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the road with her grandmother in St Helens.

Despite their grief, Violet-Grace’s mum Rebecca and dad Glenn, a former Failsworth School student, donated her organs to save two lives.

Family friends Amanda and Mike - who went to school with Glenn - decided to do the charity inking to raise money for Violet-Grace’s Gift, which supports other bereaved parents, and encourage people to sign up to the NHS organ donation register.

Those turning up for a tattoo on Friday included Violet-Grace’s mum and dozens of others who helped the couple raised an amazing £1,650.

“We didn’t expect such an amazing turnout,” said Amanda.

“Before we opened the doors the queue was huge. Around 50 people were waiting outside - the gratitude and patience from everyone who waited for their tattoo was completely overwhelming.

“Our staff worked 13 hours straight and managed to tattoo 87 people.

“We are so proud of everyone for coming together and raising such an amazing amount.

“We would like to thank each and every person who donated.”

Violet-Grace’s family are planning a host of charity events to raise money for their cause to help families who are struggling with bereavement of a child and raise awareness of organ donation and transplantation.

In the court case which followed Violet-Grace’s death in March, last year, Aidan McAteer was jailed for nine years and four months.

Violet-Grace’s grandmother, Angela French, was left with serious injuries. For more information of the cause, go to and