Balloons and lanterns released at West End park in March in memory of Joshua

An online JustGiving campaign raised £1,010 in just two days for the family of Joshua Warby, who pas

An online JustGiving campaign raised £1,010 in just two days for the family of Joshua Warby, who passed away at his home in Deerfield Road, March. - Credit: Archant

Around 500 people gathered in West End park in March to release balloons and lanterns as a tribute to a popular 14 year old Neale Wade student.

Balloons and lanterns are released in memory of Neale Wade Academy student Joshua Warby, 14, in West

Balloons and lanterns are released in memory of Neale Wade Academy student Joshua Warby, 14, in West End park PHOTO: Kath Sansom - Credit: Archant

The night sky was dotted with flickers of yellow light from scores of lanterns as the community turned out to support the family of Joshua Warby in the memorial event on Saturday night.

Mum Vicky Wagstaff, one of the organisers, said: “Loads of people have offered support in so many different ways, to see the power of the community pulling together like this has been amazing.

“People might moan about this little town but when it is needed, they can pull together. Just look at all these young people in the park here tonight, it is outstanding.”

More than £1,500 has been donated on a JustGiving page and more than £800 made for the Samaritans through handmade purple and turquoise ribbons which have been on sale at the school throughout the week thanks to Laura Garner who made them.

Balloons and lanterns are released in memory of Neale Wade Academy student Joshua Warby, 14, in West

Balloons and lanterns are released in memory of Neale Wade Academy student Joshua Warby, 14, in West End park PHOTO: Kath Sansom - Credit: Archant


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She also set up a stall of ribbons on the night during the park event and raised £500 for the family.

Teenagers stood respectfully while they waited for the cue to release the balloons and lanterns and stayed for around an hour chatting in groups.

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Balloons were donated by Greetings card shop in High Street.

Tributes to the teenager were paid by Neale Wade Academy Principal, Jason Wing, who described Joshua as a “popular and conscientious student” in a letter to parents on Monday.

Balloons and lanterns are released in memory of Neale Wade Academy student Joshua Warby, 14, in West

Balloons and lanterns are released in memory of Neale Wade Academy student Joshua Warby, 14, in West End park PHOTO: Kath Sansom - Credit: Archant

He said: “We are deeply saddened by the news that Joshua Warby, a Year 10 pupil at Neale-Wade, passed away over the weekend.

“He was a popular, conscientious student and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

“For all our students, staff and parents, our pastoral care team are available for counselling and support throughout the coming days in the school library and anyone affected by this tragedy is encouraged to talk about it with our specialist support team.”

• To donate, visit Just Giving

For support visit:

Swear to care with this campaign group which aims to break down the stigma of mental health. Sign up to show your support on this link.

YMCA Cambridgeshire and Peterborough offer counselling for young people in March library.

Centre 33 offer counselling for young people based in Wisbech, Ely and Huntingdon.

Sane works to improve the life of anybody suffering with mental illness with a special section devoted to young people.

Kooth. An online counselling and emotional well-being site for children and young people.

Keep Your Head which signposts to local services on mental health and wellbeing for young people.

Stars provides specialist bereavement support and counselling for any child or young person, aged 0-25 years.

Sudden provides useful guidance on supporting suddenly bereaved children.

The Childhood Bereavement Network is the hub for those working with bereaved children, young people and their families across the UK.

Winston’s Wish provides useful information for schools.

Samaritans offer support 24/7 via their help line.

Young Minds gives an over view of support from CAMH services as well as information for parents and young people.

Papyrus is the national charity for the prevention of young suicide.

Calm The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide.

Richmond Fellowship supports people in the workplace.

MIND empowers people. Their motto is “We won’t give up until everyone gets support and respect.”

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