A crowd of people gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of a well-loved and “inspirational” young woman from west Cumbria.

Tuqiri, of Mirehouse, Whitehaven, tragically passed away in June aged 18.

Friends, family and the members of the Whitehaven community came together at St James Church in Whitehaven to mourn and remember the life of Tuqiri on Wednesday July 21.

The service for Tuqiri, which was also live-streamed, was held at 1.15pm.

She was later cremated at Distington Hall.

Whilst opening the service at St James Church, Reverend Robert Jackson, said: “Today we come with broken hearts to the funeral service of Tuqiri .

“The funeral of a young person brings us up short. We are suddenly aware of our own mortality.

“In this service, may you be able to cherish her memory and celebrate her life.”

Tributes from friends and loved ones were read out for Tuqiri, who loved to sing and was a keen Whitehaven Rugby League supporter.


Rugby fan: The Whitehaven rugby league community was devestated after Tuqiri Blackwell - a keen follower of Whitehaven Rugby League Club - died

Rugby fan: The Whitehaven rugby league community was "devestated" after Tuqiri Blackwell - a keen follower of Whitehaven Rugby League Club - died


One tribute by Lindsay, read: “It was seven years ago when I first met Tuqiri with her cheeky smile and those gorgeous stand out eyes.

“From that day onwards, her and her grandparents have treated me and my family as if they were their own.

“Over the years we have had many a good rugby trip away and plenty of nights out, talking about anything and everything.

“Over the years I have watched Tuqiri blossom into a beautiful young woman, and nothing made me prouder than watching her confidence grow."


Singer: She had a “beautiful voice”

Singer: She had a “beautiful voice”


In a tribute, Lakes College West Cumbria Principal, Chris Nattress and Tuqiri’s tutor, Natalie McClellan, said: "We are all deeply saddened following the news of Tuqiri’s death.

“Tuqiri joined the college in September 2019 on the Level 2 Public Services course, progressing on to the Level 3 Uniformed Services course from September 2020 and was due to complete Year 1 of the course in July“In the two years Tuqiri was at Lakes College, she had a huge, positive impact on both her tutors and her friends.

“Tuqiri was a lively, friendly and intelligent person. She gave 100% commitment to anything she took on, and was passionate about the things she cared about. She brought a sense of fun and enjoyment to everything put in front of her, and could make the entire room laugh with a single sentence.

“She was a natural performer and brought a positive energy wherever she went. When people were struggling, she was the first to offer her support, with a smile on her face and a witty comment to help get everyone through it!

“She was achieving excellent grades in her college work, and had a bright and promising future ahead of her. She was a much loved and important member of our college community, and will be hugely missed by everyone who had the fortune to get to know her.”