Stevie remembered with garden

CHILDREN today fondly recalled a fun and happy friend as they watched a memorial garden to celebrate her short life being opened.Family,friends and classmates of Felixstowe schoolgirl Stevie Mayes gathered for the special ceremony – a year to the day since her death.

CHILDREN today fondly recalled a fun and happy friend as they watched a memorial garden to celebrate her short life being opened.

Family,friends and classmates of Felixstowe schoolgirl Stevie Mayes gathered for the special ceremony – a year to the day since her death.

Despite the gloomy weather, eight-year-old Stevie's warm and radiant smile, and bubbly personality, were present as her school friends spoke of their memories.

They said remembered her infectious giggle, her smile, how she always got "squeaky hiccups" and made them laugh.


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Stevie's mum Donna and dad Stevie opened the garden at Causton Junior School, Maidstone Road, by "planting" a plaque in the shape of a yellow flower next to a liquid amber tree in the garden.

The couple and their sons Daniel, 16, and Jason, 13, have been thrilled with the help they have received from the school – which teamed up with The Evening Star to launch the appeal – to set up the memorial.

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"It is lovely and we are really thrilled. We can't wait to see it grow and be so colourful," said Mrs Mayes.

Stevie's grandad, Peter Mayes, who shed called "poppy", is busily growing plants to make the garden a riot of colour and will help tend it.

Stevie, of Graham Road, Walton, Felixstowe, died on June 30 last year from a right pneumothorax, effectively a collapsed lung with her asthma being a contributory factor in her death.

Initially, her family had wanted just to plant a small yellow rose bush – her favourite colour – by which to remember their much-loved daughter.

But thanks to the school, the idea has blossomed into a full-size garden.

Headteacher Paul Rooney said the preparations for the garden had been started ten months ago and everyone was delighted with the project.

He thanked a wide range of organisations and individuals for their help with the appeal – including the Evening Star, Felixstowe Round Table, and parents and children who had organised coffee mornings, cake sales, a walk, a pub crawl, a recipe book and a disco.

Stevie's class teacher Diane Squirrell said: "We have thought about Stevie a lot in the past year and things have reminded us of her many times. The class has certainly been a lot quieter without her.

"We will always remember her giggle and the way she amazed us with her expertise by limbo dancing under a pole so low to the ground."

The £1,300 memorial garden is near the front entrance of the school so that it is a prominent feature.

It is bordered by copper beech hedging with the liquid amber tree, which has burgundy leaves, standing proudly inside in memory of the bubbly young girl, who was full of life, was adored by her parents and who loved the school.

Flower pots packed with shrubs and flowers will decorate a patio area nearby. Bulbs have already been planted by Stevie's schools friends.

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