University students and staff affected by disappearance of Gorleston woman Sophie Smith to be offered counselling

UEA student Sophie Smith has been missing since Boxing Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

UEA student Sophie Smith has been missing since Boxing Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The university where missing 21-year-old Sophie Smith is a student will offer counselling to those affected by her disappearance.

Sophie, a second year biomedicine student at the University of East Anglia (UEA), was last seen running towards the beach near her family’s seaside home in Avondale Road, Gorleston on Boxing Day morning.

MORE: Missing Sophie Smith left note for family and spoke about entering the sea

Head of the school of biological sciences Prof Tamas Dalmay said: “We now have to fear the worst but our enduring hope is that Sophie will be found. Sophie’s a bright, much valued and well-liked student who’s been fully committed to her biomedicine studies.

Sophie Smith, 21, who has been missing since Boxing Day morning from Gorleston. Picture: With permis

Sophie Smith, 21, who has been missing since Boxing Day morning from Gorleston. Picture: With permission of @sarah_janee_xo - Credit: Archant

“She has made a positive impact on our school and on the wider university during her time at UEA.

“On behalf of the School of Biological Sciences and the wider UEA community we offer our thoughts and sympathies to Sophie’s family and friends.”

Counsellors in the Student Support Service are available for both students and staff who know Sophie or have been affected by her disappearance.

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In addition, from next week, counsellors and advisers will be holding daily drop-in sessions in the Student Support Centre to support UEA staff and students.

Sophie, who lived in Norwich during term time, grew up in Gorleston.

Whatever you are going through, The Samaritans are free to call at any time, from any phone on 116 123. They are there around the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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