Skies over West End park, March, to shine for popular pupil

West End Park March

West End Park March - Credit: Archant

The community rallied round to support the family of a 14-year-old March boy who died last weekend.

Hundreds of handmade ribbons have been sold in Joshua Warby's memory, with £730 donated to the Samar

Hundreds of handmade ribbons have been sold in Joshua Warby's memory, with £730 donated to the Samaritans charity. More ribbons will be sold at a special vigil which will be held in his memory at West End Park, March, on Saturday evening (25). - Credit: Archant

An online JustGiving campaign has raised £1,010 in just two days for the family of Joshua Warby, who passed away at his home on Deerfield Road on Sunday.

Dozens of donations have poured in since the Neale-Wade Academy students’ death, and his friends and family are planning to remember him by releasing lanterns and lighting candles at West End Park in March on Saturday (25).

At the school where he was a student in year 10, more than £700 has also been raised for the Samaritans charity thanks to hundreds of handmade turquoise and purple ribbons, which have been sold during the week at the school.

More ribbons will be available at the vigil on Saturday.

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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.

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

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“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.”

Special assemblies have been held for pupils at the academy to make sure they know where to go for support and to help everybody come to terms with the sudden loss of their classmate.

On Monday most of the Year 10 students went home.

Tributes for Joshua have flooded in on social media since his death, with one person saying: “No words can describe what your mum, dad and sister are going through right now.

“But knowing how a small town like March is pulling together to help must be of great comfort.”

Another said: “No amount of money can fill the huge void left in the family’s lives but hopefully this fund raising demonstrates just how many lives Joshua’s cheeky grin has touched.”

The school has encouraged students to visit online counselling and emotional well-being websites if they had any concerns, and has been praised by parents for its work in supporting its students during such a difficult week.

One parent said: “The school should be commended for going above and beyond to make sure the students are supported.

“It’s an incredibly difficult time for both staff and pupils and they have made sure they have done as much as they can to support everybody.”

• To donate, visit Just Giving

• For information on Saturday’s memorial, search Light up the sky for Josh Warby on Facebook.

A letter to students from Neale Wade Academy gives a range of support sites including:

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.

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, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.

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