Hundreds of mourners gathered today to celebrate the life of Lutterworth teenager Hannah Smith who died after suffering brutal abuse at the hands of cyberbullies.
The 14-year-old was found hanged in her bedroom at the family home by her sister Jo two weeks ago.
Today more than 400 mourners arrived, dressed in bright clothing and onesies at the family’s request, at St Mary’s Church in the town for her funeral.
Hannah’s father David Smith, dressed in a blue T-shirt and jeans, was among those who carried a purple coffin with “I love you” on the side out of the back of a blue Audi Q7 into the church as heavy rain poured down.
Purple and white balloons lined the aisle to the front of the church and a poster reading “Be Happy for Hannah” hung from a lectern with a picture of the teenager as the Rev Charlie Styles led the service to celebrate the teenager’s life.
Hannah’s coffin was carried into the church to In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins.
Her sister, Jo (16) walked behind the coffin, consoled by her stepmother, Deborah Smith.
During the service, there were readings by Nora Parker, headteacher of Lutterworth High School, and Hannah’s cousin, Ben Hubbard.
Say It Right by Nelly Furtado, one of the teenager’s favourite songs was also played.
Hannah’s coffin was carried out to One Step Beyond by Madness before the congregation gathered on the grass outside the church carrying purple and white balloons from inside.
The balloons were then released into the sky after a count of “1-2-3 - Goodbye” from Mr Styles.
Following the service, Mr Styles said: “It was a really lovely service with lots of smiles.
“The atmosphere was really positive. There were obvious tears and it was quite heartbreaking really to hear, especially some of the younger people, some of Hannah’s friends sobbing.
“But the overall tone of the service, and the tone really of today, was a feeling of celebration and laughter even amidst the tears.
“It was a fitting tribute to Hannah - the music choices were the sort of thing that she loved, that she liked to dance to or sing in the shower, which was just wonderful to be able to do and I think, as well, we managed to express some of the sadness that we’re all feeling.”
Talking about the balloons, he said: “We wanted to decorate the church so that actually it wasn’t feeling too formal. It was informal, everyone was wearing bright colours or onesies and we wanted to do something that actually gave them the chance to join in and say goodbye.”
He said Mr Smith had asked for any donations to go to a local anti-bullying group.
“Today isn’t a day for campaigning or politics, it’s a day for saying goodbye, but instead of flowers or anything like that, Dave has asked for donations to Harborough Against Bullying,” he said.