Lasting tribute created for Leeds girl who died unexpectedly earlier this year

Pictured (left to right) Millie Baird Blackburn, Bailey Forsyth, Reece Wallace, Oliver Court, Reio Nandra, Ellie Cole. Front: Samantha Potter, mum of Ellie Mae, Sarah Riley, and Jack Mangan.
Pictured (left to right) Millie Baird Blackburn, Bailey Forsyth, Reece Wallace, Oliver Court, Reio Nandra, Ellie Cole. Front: Samantha Potter, mum of Ellie Mae, Sarah Riley, and Jack Mangan.

A lasting tribute has been created by a school for one of its pupils who died unexpectedly earlier this year.

Students from West SILC (Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre) Farnley Partnership competed in the Special Olympics last summer.

Ellie-Mae.

Ellie-Mae.

Children from the facility and neighbouring Farnley Academy today cheered its contestants on during a victory parade and assembly.

And as part of the ceremony a memorial torch was unveiled for twin sister Ellie-Mae Monkman, a West SILC pupil and who died aged eight in August just a week after competing in the Sheffield games.

The torch will be taken to and paraded at future local and regional sports events that the school attends.

Her mother Samantha Potter, who attended the ceremony, said: “It’s brilliant, she really was a special part of that school, it’s great that they’re not forgetting about her.

Lead teacher Sarah Riley, with torch holder Millie Baird Blackburn and Samantha Potter, mother of Ellie-Mae.

Lead teacher Sarah Riley, with torch holder Millie Baird Blackburn and Samantha Potter, mother of Ellie-Mae.

“They’re keeping her memory alive as much as possible. They have a memorial garden for her. Ellie-Mae would have loved this. She loved being the centre of attention.”

At the Special Olympics, the students took part in the Motor Activity Training Program, designed for athletes who are unable to participate in other competitions because of their skill and/or functional abilities. All the team received a medal for taking part

Students which attended the games included Oliver Court, Millie Baird-Blackburn, Reece Wallace and Bailey Forsyth. Ellie Cole, Jack Mangan, and Reio Nandra, also competed alongside Ellie-Mae.

West SILC lead teacher Sarah Riley said that the victory parade was a way to have their “achievements recognised in public when previously the focus has been on the things that they can’t do.”

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