A FRIEND has created a fundraiser in memory of a popular former mayoress.

Jean Gillies, a former councillor and patron for Fortalice, set up the memorial fund in honour of Gay Wharton – a 58-year-old grandmother who died on Friday after being hit by a car.

Mrs Wharton, a former mayoress of Bolton, was also a patron for the domestic abuse charity, and was known by many for her charitable acts.

Speaking about her friend, Mrs Gillies said: "It's just so wrong, she did all sorts for people and she'll be missed – not just by her friends and family, but by people in general.

"I don't think people knew just how much she did, she didn't go on about it, she just got on with it.

"It's only when people come forward do you realise how much she did for the borough."

Tributes to the popular woman have poured in since her death, with close friends gathering in a socially distanced manner at Queen's Park to lay flowers in her memory.

Others have donated to causes that she supported in her memory.

Mrs Gillies has set up a donation page for Fortalice, the charity they both worked with, as a central space for people to contribute to.

She added: "Gay would never want people to stop doing things that could help someone, this is a time to remember her and to give back to Gay and what she did for other people.

"She was remarkable, she just wanted to help people.

"It's really difficult to put the words out there, but I just want something positive to come out of this and to keep her memory alive for the good of the town."

Russell & Russell Solicitors also paid tribute to Mrs Wharton, who worked in their Newport Street Office.

The firm said: "We know we speak for all of her co-workers when we say how very much she will be missed by all of us.

"She truly was one of life’s givers and brought so much light and positivity to anyone who knew her.

"Gay was a remarkable and inspirational woman who gave so much to her community.

"A phenomenal baker, Gay was always first in line to assist with providing the most amazing cakes for any of our Macmillan Coffee mornings and her ever kind and generous nature meant she was always the first to support any other charitable fundraisers the firm or other staff members were holding.

"She was a wonderful staff member, friend, and colleague, and will be truly missed."

Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/jean-gillies1 to donate to the page in Gay's memory.

All contributions will go directly to Fortalice.