TWO caring Widnes mums have left a lasting legacy.

Much-loved teaching assistant Lesley Hardman from Ditton Primary School and Phyllis Plumpton, a barmaid at the former ICI Recreation Club, both lost their battle against cancer and spent their final hours at Halton Haven.

Mum-of-two Lesley, 43, developed secondary cancer and died in February while family friend and mum-of-three Phyllis, 51, died a year earlier.

Their families pledged to raise £15,600 to buy 12 new syringe drivers, which help control pain, one for each patient room at the hospice.

Relatives wanted to thank staff for all their tender loving care.

In just 18 months, fundraisers have smashed their target and reached £18,000.

Stella Hardman, Lesley’s sister-in-law, an additional needs teaching assistant at Ditton Primary School, said: “Lesley and Phyllis were loved by everyone. They had that charisma, they were both beautiful people.

“The whole community, family and friends has come together to support us. They were pillars of the community.

“Staff at the haven were out of this world, they went above and beyond to help both families.”

The school raised £1,400 from a summer fun day and raffle organised by Lesley’s seven-year-old niece Harriet.

“Lesley always had a smile for everyone and was loved by all the children and staff,” said Stella.

“The school now has an award in her memory that is given to the pupil who has carried on and never given up no matter what life has thrown at them.”

Live music nights, charity rugby matches, bike ride, corporate donations from employers and auctions have boosted the fund.

Phyllis suggested buying the medical equipment while she was being treated at the hospice.

Both families have vowed to continue supporting the hospice.

A Simon and Garfunkel Storybook gig is being held at Widnes Rugby Union Club at 7.30pm on Saturday.

Chris Andrews, community fundraising manager at Halton Haven, said: “It is wonderful to see everyone coming together to do all these amazing activities in memory of Lesley and Phyllis.

“We are so incredibly grateful to the two families for deciding to fund the new syringe drivers and to Ditton Primary and everyone else who has really got stuck into the fundraising efforts.

“The new equipment will be hugely appreciated and go a long way to helping our patients manage their pain.”