Family of Ipswich boy Vinnie Barker to raise funds for charity in his memory

Nicole, Ella, Lyla, Amber (Vinny’s sister), Lauren, and Rosie.

Nicole, Ella, Lyla, Amber (Vinnys sister), Lauren, and Rosie. - Credit: cont

The family of eight-year-old Vinnie Barker who died suddenly in July 2012 are holding charity fundraising events in his memory.

Vinnie Barker

Vinnie Barker - Credit: Archant

Vinnie, from Ipswich, died from undiagnosed hydrocephalus.

Michael Eley, who is raising money in memory of his nephew Vinnie Barker

Michael Eley, who is raising money in memory of his nephew Vinnie Barker - Credit: Archant

A locum optometrist, Honey Rose, of London, was subsequently convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence at Ipswich Crown Court after failing to diagnose abnormalities during an eye test on Vinnie.

She was given a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Vinnie’s family now want to do all they can to help others and are raising money for Shine.

The charity provides specialist support for anyone living with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus, as well as to parents, families, carers and professional care staff.

Friends of Vinnie have already embarked on array of charity events from memorial football matches to sponsored walks. Now Vinnie’s uncle Michael Eley is taking part in a sponsored cycle challenge from London to Paris in July.

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Mr Eley said: “His school raised money and as his friends moved on to high school, their final farewell party paid tribute to Vinnie.

“Our family are continually overwhelmed by the empathy, support and generosity of friends, and those who never even knew Vinnie.

“As a family we now want to both raise awareness of the importance of eye health care and build on the strong and meaningful foundation that ‘Friends of Vinnie’ have begun.

“We aim to work endlessly to raise funds for Shine and keep the memory of our special little boy alive.”

Vinnie’s sister Amber is also doing her bit. The nine-year-old and her friends are doing a colourthon – colouring in a massive picture of Paris - on February 16.

The family is also holding a charity evening March 4 at Ipswich Sports Club

To sponsor Mr Eley or Amber log on to,, or just go to and search Vinnie Barker.

Alternatively telephone Hayley Eley on 07709573064 or Jo Barker 07941318090 to make a pledge or to obtain a sponsorship form.