Friends have set up a fundraiser to support Nicola Bulley’s partner, Paul Ansell, and their two daughters, after confirmation of Ms Bulley’s body being found in the River Wyre on Sunday (February 19). The 45-year-old mortgage adviser went missing on January 27, whilst walking her springer spaniel Willow along the river in St Michael’s, Lancashire.
Her disappearance sparked a huge search operation by Lancashire Constabulary, which gained lots of media attention. The force received a tip-off from some dog walkers and after three weeks of searching, a body was found in the River Wyre which was confirmed to be hers.
A close work friend of Ms Bulley’s partner, Mr Ansell has now created a GoFundMe page to raise money towards the funeral, and to support Ms Bulley’s family.
The page reads: "Nicola, or Nikki as she was called by her family, was the partner of Paul Ansell.
"Paul is a close work colleague of mine, and this page has been set up to allow anyone that would like to support Paul and his two daughters aged six and nine through this truly devastating time a way in which they can help."
It added: "Some statements from Nikki’s Family: ‘We will never forget Nikki - how could we? She was the centre of our world, she was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that"
"‘Finally, Nikki, you are no longer a missing person, you have been found, we can let you rest now.
“This fund aims to provide some financial support for Nikki’s two young daughters now and into the future.
“Thank you for your support."
The GoFundMe page was set up on February 21, and has already reached its goal of £10,000 in 24 hours. People have left comments to pay tribute to Nicola Bulley.
One person said: “This story broke my heart, and I can’t imagine what the family are going through right now. Sending my condolences.”
While another added: “I didn’t know this lady or her family but my heart just goes out to her family on their tragic loss especially her partner and dear little girls.”
And a third said: “Sincere condolences to Nicola’s family for their tragic loss.”
Following the news that Ms Bulley’s body had been found, police read out a statement from her devastated family. They said: "Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most.”
The statement also addressed the reception the case has been receiving from the public and press. It said: "It saddens us to think that one day we will have to explain to them that the press and members of the public accused their dad of wrongdoing, misquoted and vilified friends and family.
“This is absolutely appalling, they have to be held accountable this cannot happen to another family.”
Before Nicola’s body was found, a silent vigil was held in her honour at St Michael’s Church on the banks of the river.
Nicola Bulley - how to donate
The GoFundMe page was set up on February 21, and has already reached its goal of £10,000 in 24 hours. People can donate to the fundraiser by visiting the GoFundMe page.