Community rallies to support family after sudden death of girl, 14, in Hopton

Hopton on Sea village sign.The village of Hopton close to the Suffolk border.Picture: James Bass

Hopton on Sea village sign.The village of Hopton close to the Suffolk border.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A peaceful community is today in shock and mourning after the sudden death of a 14-year-old girl.

Cliff Park Ormiston AcademyPicture: James Bass

Cliff Park Ormiston AcademyPicture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

The village of Hopton, on the Norfolk coast, has rallied to support the family as the girl's friends described how their hearts were broken by her death.

A online donation page has been set up to support the family of the schoolgirl, named locally as Jessica Collins, who attended Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, in Gorleston.

Jessica was pronounced dead on Wednesday, and police say there are no suspicious circumstances. No official cause of death has yet been given.

One person who knew the family said: 'It is absolutely gut-wrenching and I feel so sorry for the family.


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'She was a beautiful girl who will be sadly missed.'

Plans are already being made by Jessica's friends at the school not only to support her family, but also to pay tribute to her within the school.

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At the school's sports dinner on Saturday, students are planning to wear pink roses or ribbons in her honour.

Rob Sherington, principal of Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, said: 'All of our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Jessica's family and loved ones at this difficult time.

'Jessica was an extremely well-liked, talented girl, and we all already miss her terribly.

'Students, staff and the wider community are incredibly saddened and have been pulling together to support each other.

'I know I speak for everyone in saying that we will always remember Jessica with great fondness, and the outstanding contribution she has made to our school.'

A Just Giving page in support of Jessica's family has also been set up.

On the page it reads: 'The news has broken my heart and everyone I know in the village. This heartbreak affects us all and as a small village we need to be there for everyone in their time of need.'

In less than 24 hours the donations exceeded the target of £500.

A police statement said officers attended an address in Hopton on Wednesday morning following concerns for Jessica's safety.

It added that officers were providing support to family and close friends.

A statement was released on the Hopton on Sea News Facebook page which said: 'There is sadness in the community today after a lovely family's life was thrown into turmoil and grief when their 14-year-old daughter sadly passed away.

'As a small community we at Hopton news send our sincere condolences to the family and friends: words wouldn't describe what they must be going though right now, but everyone is sending prayers and thinking of you.'

•To donate click here•Did you know Jessica and would you like to pay tribute? Email geraldine.scott@archant.co.uk

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