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Appeal for £1,000 to send ashes of much-loved Ipswich teen to Poland after Orwell Bridge fall reaches target in four days

PUBLISHED: 11:15 21 February 2016

Weronika Stepien, 17, died in December

Weronika Stepien, 17, died in December

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A fundraising appeal to help send the ashes of a "wonderful, beautiful" Ipswich teenager Weronika Stepien to be laid to rest with family in Poland exceeded it's £1,000 target in just four days last week.

L-R Charlotte Hoy, Chloe Dyer and Weronika StepienL-R Charlotte Hoy, Chloe Dyer and Weronika Stepien

Charlotte Hoy and Chloe Dyer, both 23, set up a fundraising page to help Ipswich-based Weronika Stepien, who died after falling from the Orwell Bridge in December, aged 17, be laid to rest in Poland.

The fundraising page went live last Monday (February 18), and just four days later had already seen £1,000 donated to the cause, with donations coming from as far as France.

“It’s amazing, we are so overwhelmed,” said Miss Hoy. “People are still donating. I know a lot of people are waiting for payday.

“I’ve cried a couple of times. Some people donated as much as £150 in one go. We don’t even know who these people are.

Weronika Stepien was a much-loved daughter, sister and friendWeronika Stepien was a much-loved daughter, sister and friend

“I think she [Weronika] would be over the moon. It’s incredible.”

Miss Dyer added: “I expected us to have to do other things to fundraise.

“I think Ronnie would be so, so proud of everybody. I can hear her in my head saying thank you. Especially for her mum, she loved her mum so much.

“We would like to say a massive thank you to the public. Her mum really, really thanks everybody.”

The girls will now discuss how to spend any additional funds with Weronika’s mother, with one idea to plant a memorial tree in Shotley, where the group share fond memories. Further plans are already in the pipeline to continue fundraising in Weronika’s memory, while Miss Dyer said she aims to establish “Ronnie’s Rovers” who would conduct patrols of the Orwell Bridge and visit schools to speak to pupils on coping with mental health and the stresses of everyday life.

To donate to the girls’ fundraising page, visit gofundme.com/weronikastepien

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