A GROUP of people came together yesterday to ensure the memory of a Big Issue seller who was killed in 2009 lives on in Westbourne.

Reverend Chris Colledge, assistant priest of St Ambrose Church in Westbourne, visited the Ralph Millward memorial outside Marks and Spencer on Seamoor Road in Westbourne, which was created in recognition of the popular homeless man.

Mr Colledge, who is also chairman of Bournemouth in Bloom, was joined by supporters of the floral group and service-users from the Open Door Homeless Project's breakfast club at West Cliff Baptist Church on Poole Road.

He said: "As chairman of Bournemouth in Bloom, I had a number of complaints saying how it looked. There were just two plants in there and they had dried out.

"I went to Kings Park Nursery, which is run by Bournemouth council, and Gary Josey gave me some plants to use, as a gesture of will to honour Ralph Millward."

Mr Colledge said that he then planted the new flowers on Wednesday using new compost.

"We just wanted to create a fitting tribute to Ralph."

Father Canon John Hyde of West Cliff Baptist Church said: "It is nice to have some of the breakfast club service users here and it is nice for other people to see them doing something for others.

"The service users would give some of their money each week towards helping to pay for some plants to go in and around the memorial, which is placed where Ralph was sleeping in his sleeping bag on the night he died."

Alan Berry, a former service-user of the Open Door Homeless Project's breakfast club, said: "I knew Ralph to talk to and asked how he was when I saw him.

"It's hard to believe that it was six years ago. He always had a smile on his face and everybody knew him. He would always help anyone and the one time he didn't, he lost his life."

Three teenagers were convicted of the manslaughter of Ralph Millward in 2010. The Big Issue seller turned down Jimmy Ayres, Warren Crago and Craig Real's request for cigarettes and was subjected to a vicious assault. They left the scene, later returning with a shopping trolley to continue the attack before leaving him for dead.