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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Tribute unveiled by Carlisle school to former pupil

A school has paid tribute to one of its pupils who died suddenly less than two years ago.

Sally Glendinning memorial photo
On the bench are, from left, Sally Glendinning’s father Bobby, sister Laura, school head Russ Wallace and mother Anne, with family and staff

Sally Glendinning was a 17-year-old sixth form pupil at Carlisle’s Richard Rose Central Academy when she fell ill with meningitis in January 2011.

Her parents officially unveiled the bench yesterday, the day after what would have been her 19th birthday.

“She was a genuine character in the true sense of the word,” said headteacher Russ Wallace. “She was life personified.”

Sally died suddenly, which hit family, friends and the school extremely hard.

Almost all her sixth form classmates attended her funeral, as did many of the school’s staff. They also posted messages of support on her Facebook page.

This was extremely valued by her family, all of whom live on Lazonby Terrace, Carlisle.

Sister Laura, 22, said: “I have still not found anyone with a bad word to say about her. It makes me so proud to say she was my sister.”

The bench has been placed just outside the school in a tranquil part of the school’s gardens, facing Victoria Place.

This used to be the school’s tennis courts and Sally used to enjoy spending her spare time around this part of the building.

It is made of teak wood and cost more than £1,000.

“I think she would be delighted to have something named after her in the grounds,” said her mum Anne, 47.

She described her daughter as someone who enjoyed life and who could brighten up other people’s days.

They think that, as she was enjoying studying travel and tourism, she might have headed to Turkey to work as a holiday rep after completing her A-levels.

Her dad Bobby, 57, admitted he still finds it hard to cope with her death.

He said: “It’s very hard to lose your daughter so young.”

Bobby added that the family had only been able to spend a few hours with Sally before she died.

The bench bears a small plaque with Sally’s name and the dates of her birth and death.

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