Tributes paid to Eastbourne school staff member who died suddenly

Bishop Bell pupils and staff release balloons SUS-160806-113929001
Bishop Bell pupils and staff release balloons SUS-160806-113929001

Pupils and staff at Bishop Bell School released 150 helium balloons into the sky in memory of a member of the premises team who passed away suddenly.

Linda Rolfe died following a short but severe illness, leaving the school’s 1,000-strong community devastated.

The balloon release was the brainchild of Year 10 pupil Grace Hendy-Sinden, who asked Bethany Seavers from Year 11 to help her.

Grace also enlisted Oskar Langley from Year 11 to sing a moving version of You Raise Me Up as the balloons were released.

Grace said, “When I heard that Linda had passed away, it made me think of my mum who died three years ago. Linda was special and I wanted us all to remember her. She was always a shoulder to cry on.”

“Linda had been employed at the school for 12 years and colleagues said she loved her job and the people and children she worked with. She was an incredibly valued member of the team.

Headteacher Mark Talbot said, “This wonderful pupil-led event shows us love in action. I am very proud and privileged to work with such wonderful young people.

“Linda will be missed by all of us. Her family joined us for the balloon release and I am sure that they will be comforted to see how loved their wife, mother and grandmother was by everyone at Bishop Bell School.”

The school’s chaplain led worships to remember Linda and pupils shared their thoughts during a special tutor time.

The premises team is also planning to plant a special tree within the school grounds in Linda’s memory.

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