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Community gathers to remember loved ones at Penryn College

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 26, 2013

By Craig Blackburn

  • Crowds listen to Brenda Bailey in the candle-lit ceremony at Penryn.

  • Harry Brumpton, left, lit his candle in memory of his gran while Charlie Oliver lit a candle in memory of Uncle Jamie.

  • A candle is lit on the steps of the amphitheatre.

  • Georgina Hird writes thoughts on the memory wall as she remembers lost family and a close friend called Malc who passed away recently.

  • With the lit candles, from left, Penhaligon's Friends' chairman, Brenda Bailey; head of creative arts at Penryn College, Kirstie Oliver; and fundraiser and former pupil, Peter Birkett.

  • Cian and Vince Hyde light candles in memory of Thomas.

  • Ethan Brokenshire lights a candle.

  • Candle Lighting and Memory Wall for lost loved ones at Penryn College. Oscar, Abbey, Jack and Tallulah remember their grand parents. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131210B-006_C

  • Candle Lighting and Memory Wall for lost loved ones at Penryn College. Freddie Burt writes a memory about his Grandpa Nelson. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131210B-005_C

  • Vera, Berney and Daisy with the Memory Wall.

  • Candle Lighting and Memory Wall for lost loved ones at Penryn College. Ruth Barnicoat, Lauren Richards and Alexandra Phillips all wrote dedications to their late grandparents. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131210B-003_C

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

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 with the student council, said the evening was a "wonderful occasion" as guests lit tea lights and wrote messages on the memory board.

"We all have our individual ways to cope with grief and loss," said Ms Oliver.

"It's not something that can be seen by the outside eye. "

"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 £1.5 million with his dad for Children in Need in the BBC's Rickshaw Challenge with The One Show.

Peter lost his mum, Linda, and sister, Shannah, in a car crash when he was in Year 7, in which he was badly injured. He has since raised money and awareness for local bereavement charity Penhaligon's Friends, which supported him through his loss.

Brenda Bailey, chairman of Penhaligon's Friends, attended the event along with the school octet senior singers who sang an a cappella 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.

Tea lights were sold for 50p and all the proceeds went to Penhaligon's Friends.

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