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22nd Sep, 2021

Forever 'Tovey Corner' - Council tribute to inspirational Lizzie

Ross Crawford 31st Jul, 2021

A PART of Arrow Valley Park is to be forever known as ‘Tovey Corner’ in honour of courageous Redditch resident Lizzie Tovey after a motion agreeing the name change was unanimously passed by Redditch Borough Council.

Lizzie lost her battle with cancer on Boxing Day last year aged just 47 but in the space of just three years she went from couch to 5k to London Marathon runner raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

Further marathon runs boosted the coffers of other deserving causes all while virtually blind in her right eye and with limited vision in her left.

And she kept on running even whilst undergoing treatment for chemotherapy.

She was a symbol of encouragement for Redditch park run participants, and together with her husband Mark was seen at the spot now known as ‘Tovey Corner’ to shout the runners on their way.

Proposing the name change was Councillor Mike Rouse (Con, Church Hill) who described Lizzie as ‘the very best of Redditch’.

“Her spirit whilst facing life’s biggest challenges is something we can all look to for inspiration in our own lives,” he said.

“The very least this council can do is officially declare the corner of the Arrow Valley Country Park where Lizzie often stood with Mark to cheer runners on as ‘Tovey Corner’.”

The council’s chief executive, Kevin Dicks, who worked with Lizzie at Redditch Borough Council before she moved to the civil service said: “She was such a strong character, never complaining when she was down but always there for others and she had such a mischievous sense of humour.”

Lizzie’s mum and dad Jill and Mike Bayliss were at the meeting to to hear the decision made, together with Mark and Redditch Macmillan Cancer Support champion Sonia Tudor.

Mike said: “We’re very humbled and feel very inferior because we could never have do what Lizzie achieved.

“It’s a wonderful gesture by the council to take such a step for our beautiful daughter.”

Sonia, herself a keen runner, added: “For us it would always be Tovey Corner but to have it confirmed officially is incredible. She was just a beautiful person.”

The decision means that in future when maps are updated, Tovey Corner will always be marked on that corner of Redditch.

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