Mum’s touch­ing me­mo­rial trib­ute to ‘car­ing’ Ash­leigh

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

THE mum of tragic Ash­leigh Bowes, has held a spe­cial me­mo­rial event on the first an­niver­sary of her death.

Ash­leigh was found dead at her fam­ily home on Newquay Drive, Mac­cles­field, aged just 14, on the morn­ing of Au­gust 30 last year.

There were no sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances and an in­quest into what hap­pened is due to take place next month.

A year on, her mum Sue or­gan­ised for a spe­cial mass at St Al­ban’s Ro­man Catholic Church to be ded­i­cated to Ash­leigh and in­vited friends and fam­ily to re­mem­ber her.

Ash­leigh used to go to the church with her fam­ily and was a for­mer pupil at St Al­ban’s Pri­mary.

Af­ter the church ser­vice, friends gath­ered at Sue’s house on Chatsworth Av­enue to share their mem­o­ries of Ash­leigh, who at­tended Fal­li­b­roome Academy.

Sue moved into the new ad­dress with Ash­leigh’s brother Chris, 17, be­cause she no longer wanted to live at the house where Ash­leigh died. At the gath­er­ing, Sue in­vited Ash­leigh’s friends to help tend to her grave at Mac­cles­field Ceme­tery over the com­ing year. She has said they can take a month each to place flow­ers, plants, or­na­ments and other items to make per­sonal tributes to their friend.

Sue, a beauty ther­a­pist, said: “It’s been so hard for Ash­leigh’s friends and I wanted to give them the op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing to re­mem­ber her. They are re­ally strug­gling to come to terms with what hap­pened.

“I want them to stay strong and not let it af­fect their GCSEs. I won’t have Ash­leigh to watch over but I will be watch­ing them and they will make me so proud if they do well.

“The church ser­vice was a way of cel­e­brat­ing the vi­tal­ity of Ash­leigh’s life.”

Ash­leigh was an keen reader and loved horse rid­ing. She had a love for all an­i­mals and es­pe­cially her rab­bit Floppy, who still lives with the fam­ily.

Sue said: “I like hav­ing Ash­leigh’s rab­bit and see­ing her friends helps me but I’m find­ing it re­ally hard. I’m find­ing it hard to go the grave my­self, es­pe­cially as the earth set­tles.

“I’ve got no clo­sure, but hope I can find some when the in­quest hap­pens and maybe some good can come out if this, so that she hasn’t died in vain.

“Ash­leigh was a won­der­ful daugh­ter who loved life and al­ways cared for oth­ers. I miss her ev­ery day.”

The in­quest into Ash­leigh’s death starts on Oc­to­ber 13 at War­ring­ton Town Hall.

●● Sue at Ash­leigh’s grave­side. Inset: Ash­leigh

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