Thousands raised in memory of Lanarkshire schoolgirl after sudden death last year

Over £6000 has been raised for charity in memory of a much-loved Hamilton girl who died suddenly last year.

Twelve-year-old Gemma Caffrey passed away on October 25 after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

She had been on holiday with mum and dad, Alison and Graeme, in her favorite place, Haggerston Castle, when she became unwell.

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The Calderside Academy schoolgirl was admitted to Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, but sadly lost her life after two weeks in the unit.

Tributes flooded in for the S2 pupil, with her head teacher, Skayne Dodds, describing her as “lovely, kind and thoughtful”.

He added that her untimely death had a “profound effect on the school community and has created a great sense of loss” and that she would “always have a place in the hearts of the staff and pupils who knew her.”

Gemma Caffrey died suddenly in October

Following her death, Gemma’s mum and dad decided to take on the Jog on January challenge in aid of Child Bereavement UK.

And Burnbank Equestrian Centre, where horse-daft Gemma rode, also took part in a ‘ride out’ at the end of last month at Strathclyde Country Park, where Alison and Graeme also attended to help the same cause, which raised £6458.

Alison told Lanarkshire Live: “Gemma had a headache on and off for the preceding two weeks and we thought it was a migraine.

“Unfortunately she had a Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis and bleeding on the brain and sadly lost her life after two weeks in hospital.

Gemma was horse-daft after starting lessons in June and the yard where she rode are paying tribute to her at a charity ride-out

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last few months and of course to everyone who donated to our JustGiving page and who took part in the ride-out recently.

“We had around 60 children turned out with 12 horses and ponies from Burnbank Equestrian in memory of Gemma and to raise funds for this amazing charity.

“It was lovely to see them all and just walk and talk and share our memories of Gemma.

Riders came out in force in memory of Gemma

“She was our only child and we did everything together as a family along with her two dogs, Penny and Bolt, they were great friends.”

Gemma had started taking horse-riding lessons at Burnbank Equestrian Center in June of last year and had been thoroughly enjoying her time there.

Owner of the yard, Donna Hanlon, said: “Gemma found her love and passion for horses and rode here often.

“We thought it very fitting that we took along all of our ponies / horses including Gemma’s favorite pony, Sparky, to honor her memory.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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