Academy pupils gather to remember brave teen

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A SPECIAL celebration of the life of Forfar teenager Laura Forbes was held at Forfar Academy on Friday.

Laura had only just celebrated her 16th birthday when she lost her battle against cancer last month, and in a special gathering her school friends took time out from their studies for an emotional celebration of Laura’s life.

The service was opened by the Rev. Barbara Ann Sweetin, minister of the East and Old.

In a particularly moving tribute Alex Milne, Murray Caird and Robin Moffat-Wall read a poem entitled ‘The Dash’, which celebrates the life of someone who has passed away.

Pictorial celebrations of Laura’s involvement in a Duke of Edinburgh expedition and school trips to Switzerland and Germany were staged and the service concluded with a look back at Laura’s Big Fun Day, an event held last spring at the Murton nature reserve near the town which raised funds for the Archie Foundation at Aberdeen Royal Children’s Hospital.

The idea for the event had come from Laura’s brother, Daniel, and the school is busy planning a similar event which will take place at Murton on Saturday, March 30.

The event will include a 10-kilometre race, which begins at 8.30 a.m., with the £10 entry fee payable on the day.

The main event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. which will include a sponsored walk around the reserve.

Activities will include a falconry demonstration, face-painting, beat the goalie, assault course, ferret racing, duck racing, treasure hunt and a raffle.

Mr Euan Gow, Forfar Academy principal teacher of pupil care and support, said he hoped for a similar community response for this year’s event.

He said: “This year, all three primary schools are supporting the sponsored walk part, with pupils involved from Whitehills, where Daniel is in P7, Strathmore and Langlands.

“The charities to benefit this year are Riding for the Disabled, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, Trussel Trust and Calum’s Cabin.

“This last charity support a respite cabin on the island of Bute where children and families affected by cancer can spend a holiday.”

Laura and her family - her parents Donald and Audrey as well as Daniel, had spent time there last year.

Mr Gow added: “It’s planned to make Laura’s Big Fun Day an annual event to celebrate and commemorate the life of this amazing girl, while helping charities for years to come.”