WHEN Carol Allenby Carr lost her daughter Victoria Harris in a sudden accident in the Lake District she found ways to keep her legacy and love of life going.

She and her family raised thousands of pounds for the charity Victoria actively supported - Reuben’s Retreat which provides respite care for families suffering the loss of a child or with life-limiting illness. And Carol, an Astley grandmother, also pledged to become a counsellor to help other people suffering similarly.

Now, she has opened her own business, Free Spirit Counselling and Wellbeing “as Vic was a free spirit so I thought the name was fitting,” she explained.

The family’s tragedy came out of a beautiful sunny day in July, 2015, in one of the country’s most stunning rural areas. Carol and Victoria had always loved walking and often made trips to the Lake District.

They were walking in the Haystacks area of the Buttermere Valley when Victoria suddenly fell. She critically injured her head and died, as her mother watched helplessly. Victoria was just 24.

Her family was naturally bereft. But, because Victoria had been a vibrant person, they decided to honour her memory by continuing support of the charity and doing some of the things on her “bucket list.” As a result, Carol climbed Mount Kilimanjaro the following year and Victoria’s sister Gemma took part in the London Marathon earlier this year.

“After I lost Victoria, I knew that I wanted to train to be a counsellor,” stated Carol. “I knew the day after her accident that this was the path I was meant to take, to help others going through emotional pain.”

Six months later, Carol started her counselling training. “It was tough at times,” she stated, “as I was grieving and having my own counselling and was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“But, miraculously, I never missed a class as I was determined and committed to helping others. I believe my counsellor training also helped me, working on placements and helping others helped to soften the blow.”

Now, Carol has qualified as a counsellor and has just launched her own business “and what better day to do this than on my beautiful girl’s birthday.”

• For more details about the counselling service call 07841 572555 or find it on Facebook

Caption: Carol Allenby Carr and daughter Victoria Harris pictured together in happier times