Balloons fill the sky as Laurie Mills is remembered

Ketton Primary School pupils release balloons to mark the one year anniversary of the death of Laurie Mills
Ketton Primary School pupils release balloons to mark the one year anniversary of the death of Laurie Mills
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The skies around Ketton were filled with yellow balloons on Tuesday as school pupils remembered a youngster who died a year ago.

Ketton Primary School held the balloon release to mark a year since six-year-old Laurie Mills and his grandmother Dawn Mullany drowned in a lake.

The pair had gone to feed the ducks at Holywell Lake, near Castle Bytham where Mrs Mullany lived, when the tragedy happened on February 16 last year.

Every child and member of staff, as well as parents, gathered to watch the 270 balloons gently drift away.

Laurie’s parents Asmina and Vaughan Mills sent a special message, which was read out before the balloons were released.

Headteacher Amanda Rogers said: “We were blessed with sunshine and the bright blue sky was filled with the wonderful sight of 270 yellow balloons gently drifting upwards.”

Mr and Mrs Mills added: “These balloons are being sent up in memory of our wonderful boy Laurie and his grandma, Dawn.

“We want them to fly with happy memories and messages of love. They will always be loved and never forgotten and we are grateful for the extremely special time that we had with them.”

They thanked everyone in the school and community for supporting them and ensuring that memories of Laurie and Dawn lived on.

The school has also taken part in a Smiles for Laurie project.

Alix Cunnell, a member of the parent, teacher and friends association and a close friend of Mr and Mrs Mills, created six images of Mr Men character Mr Happy.

Laurie loved Mr Happy and Alix said: “Laurie would have absolutely loved this crazy idea.”

His name is on each yellow image and many of the children, parents and villagers were invited to place a “smile” in special places in the village to commemorate his life.

The idea has even stretched to places abroad which meant a lot to Laurie and his family.

A sculpture in memory of Laurie has also been unveiled at the school and takes pride of place in the centre of the trim trail. It is an unfurling fern frond and symbolises new life, growth, strength and 
peace.

Mr and Mrs Mills added: “Laurie would have loved the thought of all these balloons being sent off for him and the smiley faces which have spread from the school all the way around the world.

“They are always in our hearts.”