Courageous 13-year-old twins who lost their older teenage sister to diabetes have inspired a fundraising drive by their bravery at school.
Sixth form students at King Edward VII School have got behind an effort in aid of Norfolk charity Nelson’s Journey after being touched by the story of Year Eight students Lisa and Sarah Thorne.
The twins, from Bishops Road, Gaywood, have been raising money for the cause, which supports bereaved children and young people, after helping them cope since their older sister Natasha died from the effects of diabetes in August last year, aged just 19.
Despite only recently turning 13, the girls showed maturity beyond their years when they stood up in front of a sixth form assembly a fortnight ago to talk to students about how the loss has affected their lives.
And the sixth formers were so inspired they decided to hold a non-uniform day for Nelson’s Journey today – wearing the purple and white colours of the charity – and will also be selling cakes at school on Valentine’s Day next week.
Lisa said: “We picked Valentine’s Day as it’s not just about romantic love, it’s about the love for family and friends too.
“I love my sister Sarah and family so much. I’d like to thank them for everything and helping me get through.
“It has been really hard and extremely sad but Nelson’s Journey has helped a lot as well. It helps younger children than us too, like a boy who lost his dad at Christmas.
“It was the same for my grandpa who lost his mum when he was five. I wish the charity had been around then to help him too.”
Lisa added: “We have still our memories of Tasha and we also enjoy doing things she used to like doing.
“I know that she is in heaven. I try and keep really calm about it but I still get upset sometimes.”
Sarah said it was “terrifying” standing up in front of the sixth form students to talk about Natasha, but I was delighted that they offered their support to the cause.”
She also thanked the school for its support, particularly Sarah Buck and Justine Stainsby-Bowman, from the school’s inclusion department, their form tutors and Marie Rutterford, head of the sixth form.
“Everyone has been amazing,” she said.
Mrs Buck said: “The girls are such an inspiration to everyone here. They have coped brilliantly and have shown such courage.”
Mrs Rutterford said the sixth formers’ reaction to Lisa and Sarah’s talk in assembly was “overwhelming”.
She said: “It was quite emotional and there were a few tears. The girls have also been stopped in the corridor a number of times by students telling them how well they did.”