SOUTHEND’S seafront lights have been turned purple in support of a 12-year-old boy who is fighting for his life.
Archie Battersbee suffered a severe brain injury after a “freak” accident at home in Southend on April 8.
His mum Hollie Dance, 46, said that the gesture had provided her family with a huge boost.
She said: “The lights are lovely. When I was told it was very emotional for us and all the nurses here. It really restores your faith in humanity.
“I started crying I was so emotional it just felt like the whole town was rooting for him. Everyone is supporting and praying for my little boy.
“It really makes me feel proud of Southend. You’re amongst these people every day, you don’t say hello you just pass them when you’re doing your shopping and then people pull together for you when you really need them.”
Archie is receiving treatment at Royal London Hospital in East London, with his mum at his bedside.
The colour purple has become a rallying symbol for those following Archie’s battle, and while Ms Dance doesn’t know who came up with the idea she says she had messages from dozens of people saying they would email Southend Council to make the change.
Ms Dance said she and her other children Tom, 22, and 20-year-old Lauren, wanted to offer their thanks to everyone who had offered their support, and to the council for switching the lights’ colour on Thursday and Friday.
She added: “Loads of people have changed their pictures to Archie and changed their backgrounds to purple. It gives me so much comfort and so much hope. If I’m feeling down or upset things like this give me a lot of support.” Archie’s fight has connected with people across the world, with people from as far as Australia and the USA sending messages to Ms Dance.
A Southend Council spokesman said they were more than happy to accommodate the requests.
They said: “The council was pleased to agree to this request in honour of Archie, and our thoughts are with him, and his friends and family at this time.”