AN appeal has been made to for land owners to come forward and help the parents of a toddler who died of cancer create a sanctuary for sick children.

Poppy-Mai, whose story captured the hearts of thousands, passed away at just 17-months-old last year after a brave battle with cancer.

Her mum and dad, Sammi and Andrew Barnard, who are originally from Blackburn, are looking for land, particularly in the Ribble Valley, to build ‘Poppy’s Field’ a site for sick children and their parents to share memories together.

The scheme would be funded entirely by the Poppy-Mai Foundation so parents would not have to worry about costs.

Poppy-Mai, from Blackburn was diagnosed in early 2016 with a rare Rhaboid tumour which originated in her kidneys.

Her family shared their battle winning the hearts of the local community.

Mr Barnard, 32, said it would be the perfect way to honour Poppy.

He said: “If I could sell the world, sell my house and everything in it just to have some more amazing memories with her I would.

“We want to give other parents and sick children a chance to have a wonderful time together.

“It would be free. It’s bad enough going through the pain and stresses of your child being sick than to have to worry about money.”

The foundation has raised tens of thousands of pounds since it was founded and in January it paid for a hospitality box at Blackburn Rovers to be used by terminally ill children and their families.

Mr Barnard said: “We found a spot in Brockhall village, but another offer has already been made on the site so we are still looking.

“We are calling for owners with land to sell of around 10 and 11 acres.

“They can work with us to develop something special and to be part of a legacy.

“The Ribble Valley seems an ideal place, it’s in a beautiful location, it’s near the Leeds and Liverpool Canal for boat trips and it’s not too far from the Lake District.

“It’s had an amazing effect on my two sons, Rylee and Jenson-Jai, they said they cannot wait to grow up and work there and help sick children and their parents have a great time.” To help email