A young boy who touched people’s hearts with his cheeky smile will be remembered by his cousins at a special event this week.

Bradley Lowery lost his fight to neuroblastoma earlier this year. Now his cousins Jorja Stonebank, aged eight, seven-year-old Lasey and six-year-old Harley Jay, are set to honour his memory when they switch on the Christmas tree lights at County Hall, Durham on Friday, 1 December.

The children, who will be joined by Durham County Council’s Chairman Cllr Bill Kellett, will also flick the switch on illuminated reindeers situated next to the tree and on the roundabout at County Hall.

Other reindeer, on the Gilesgate and North Road roundabouts, were switched on last week as part of the Christmas light switch on in Durham City.

Jorja and Lasey’s dad, David Stonebank, said: “The children are so excited to be turning on the Christmas lights in Bradley’s honour. They haven’t stopped talking about it since I told them. They love and miss Bradley so much, and can’t wait for the big switch on.”

Kelly Richardson, Harley Jay’s mum, added: “When I told Harley Jay he was turning the Christmas lights on at County Hall with Jorja and Lasey, he kept jumping up and down with excitement and he asked why.

“I explained that Bradley did it last year, and this year his cousins are doing it in memory of him. He replied he wishes Bradley was here to do it. I know Bradley will be watching over all his cousins and he will be very proud of them.”

Cllr Kellett said: “Bradley was such an inspiring boy and I know he really enjoyed turning the Christmas lights on last year. Wherever he went, he made everyone smile. This year I’m happy to be switching the Christmas lights on with his cousins in his memory.”

Other Christmas trees in Barnard Castle (the Sills just over the bridge on the A67), Bishop Auckland (South Church roundabout), Old Cock O’ the North roundabout (leading off the A167) and at Strangford Road in Seaham will also be switched on on Friday.  

Bradley’s family is using his foundation to help and support other families across the region. To support the Bradley Lowery Foundation, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/thebradleyloweryfoundation/blf?social_utm_term=33re863l3