Wickham Market: Pupils unveil tribute bench to brave mum Joanna Dearing

WHEN kindhearted youngsters heard about the sad death of the mother of one of their classmates they were keen to give their support.

Pupils in Year 5 at Wickham Market Primary School came together to show Josh Dearing that they were there for him.

His mum, Joanna, who was married to Robin, passed away from cancer last year. The 43-year-old mother-of-eight appeared in the EADT in 2009 and spoke of her determination to beat the disease.

But after a brave fight she died at St Elizabeth Hospice in November - and the pupils at Wickham Market Primary School, where her daughters also go, wanted to do something special in her honour.

They organised a cake sale and raffle and raised an impressive �300 for a memorial bench for the school garden.

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One pupil even wrote to Waitrose asking for a contribution and the retailer donated the bench itself, meaning the money could be split between St Elizabeth Hospice and the school garden.

Kerri Barker, learning mentor at the school, said: “Supporting families through difficult times can make a huge difference to how they cope. The children in Year 5 have gone out of their way, with great enthusiasm, to help Josh and his sisters realise their wish to have somewhere special they can go to in school. I am really proud of them.”

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Simon Dickinson, store manager at Waitrose in Saxmundham, added: “I realised that our recycled carrier bags scheme, which creates new items out of old, would fit the bill perfectly as we could donate a recycled bench for this thoroughly good cause.”

The pupils would like to say “thank you” to all those who supported their efforts.

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