Olivia gives official seal of approval

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A 17-MONTH-OLD toddler could be the youngest person to be asked to officially open a new business.

Olivia Smith, from Southwold Rise in Eastfield, was helped by her grandmother Trish and the owners Chambers Coffee Bar in Westborough.

Helena Scott said the new venture was in a former florist shop, next door to her hair salon, and her husband Alan was managing the new business. She said: “We knew the florist was going and we’d been looking for premises for ages. It’s just the perfect location.”

She added that Olivia, whose mother Laura tragically died last July, was the obvious choice to help cut the ribbon. She said: “People were asking ‘who are you going to get to open it?’ and I asked whether Olivia would open it in memory of Laura. Trish was more than happy with the idea.

“With everything we do Laura would’ve been in the middle of it and really involved with it. She would’ve loved it.”

Olivia’s grandmother Trish Smith said the toddler was excited by the occasion especially when she saw the decorative balloons. She said: “She’s quite a sociable little girl anyway and she’s happy with the attention.”

Laura’s former partner, 45-year-old driving instructor Nigel Pickard, was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison for her murder.

In the wake of the tragedy friends and colleagues set up a trust fund to provide for her future and so far they have raised thousands of pounds.