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Community gathers to remember loved ones at Penryn College

By WBCraig  |  Posted: December 13, 2013

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Candle lighting and memory wall for lost loved ones at Penryn College - Brenda Bailey, from Penhaligon's Friends.

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LOVED ones who have passed away were remembered at a special candle-lit ceremony in a Penryn school last week.

Students from Penryn College joined parents, family and staff in the school’s amphitheatre to commemorate, celebrate and remember loved ones, or just to send a special wish.

Kirstie Oliver, head of creative arts, who organised the event together with the student council, said the evening was a “wonderful occasion” as guests lit tealights and wrote messages on the memory board.

“We all have our individual ways to cope with grief and loss, and it’s not something that can be seen by the outside eye,” said Ms Oliver.

“Grief is something that affects so many of us and unites us. It’s also something we don’t always talk about.

“And to come together as a community and recognise our loss and to be able to gather and commemorate and celebrate like this is an incredible testament to the strength of our school and community.”

The idea for the My Light event came after 17-year-old former student Peter Birkett helped to raise £1.5m with his dad for Children in Need in the BBC’s Rickshaw Challenge with The One Show.

Peter lost his mum and sister in a car crash when he was in Year 7.

He has since raised money and awareness for local bereavement charity Penhaligons Friends, which supported him through his loss.

Brenda Bailey, chairman of Penhaligons Friends, attended the event along with the school octet senior singers who sang an acapella piece called The Gaelic Blessing.

“We felt, as a school, that we wanted to do something to support Pete and this wonderful charity that supports so many of our pupils, but also to recognise that so many of us find this time of year hard and will be thinking about lost loved ones,” said Ms Oliver.

Tealights were sold for 50p and all the proceeds went to Penhaligons Friends.

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