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Funeral of Ipswich teen Tavis expected to attract 'massive' crowds

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:00 04 July 2018

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens  Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Archant

The funeral of an Ipswich teenager who was stabbed to death in broad daylight is expected to attract huge crowds today.

Sharon Box, mother of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens and his aunt Sinade Brown Picture: ARCHANTSharon Box, mother of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens and his aunt Sinade Brown Picture: ARCHANT

Family and friends of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens say they plan to make it a celebration filled with colour and energy to mark the passing of a young life taken too soon.

Tavis was fatally stabbed while walking back from the shops in Nacton on Saturday June 2 – leading to an outpouring of grief in the community.

In the days that followed Tavis’s death, scores of young people visited a tree near to where he had been attacked to leave floral tributes and pay their respects.

The 17-year-old’s family have spoken of their “living nightmare” and pleaded for public help to catch bring his killers to justice.

Roxanne Chudleigh with the poster she has designed for her campaign Picture: RUTH LEACHRoxanne Chudleigh with the poster she has designed for her campaign Picture: RUTH LEACH

Last week, his aunt Sinade Brown, said the family expected big crowds for the funeral.

“I don’t think it’s just going to be friends and family,” she said. “It will be the community as well – people who don’t even know Tavis. Because this has affected not just our lives but everyone who lives in Ipswich.”

Roxanne Chudleigh, who set up Ipswich Against Gangs and launched a knife crime poster campaign, also said she expected the funeral to be a major occasion for the community.

“There’s going to be a frenzy,” she said. “It’s going to be massive – I know lots of people will show up to show support.”

The yellow heart designs which have been made into stickers for the funeral Picture: ROXANNE CHUDLEIGHThe yellow heart designs which have been made into stickers for the funeral Picture: ROXANNE CHUDLEIGH

Ms Chudleigh said she had been talking regularly to Tavis’s mum, Sharon Box, and has created thousands of “yellow hearts” to be produced in time for the funeral as a fitting symbol of the teen’s life.

She said the campaign had gained further support from Ipswich company Fleximize, which is helping to establish the group as an official charity to protect young people from violence in the town.

“I’m just really pleased to know that Sharon is pleased with what we’re doing,” Ms Chudleigh added.

“Tavis’s death has been tragic and his mum needs to be able to see that something positive can still come from it.

Roxanne Chudleigh and Jordan Laidlow with the poster that they have put on prominent places in the neighbourhood Picture: RUTH LEACHRoxanne Chudleigh and Jordan Laidlow with the poster that they have put on prominent places in the neighbourhood Picture: RUTH LEACH

“I feel proud and privileged to be able to do what I’m doing for them and my community.”

Mrs Box has said previously that the community’s response following her son’s death had been amazing.

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