Emotional day for parents of schoolboy killed in accident

A memorial stone was laid at Sandhill View School, Grindon for former pupil Steven Atkinson, who died aged 12 after being hit by a car. Steven's parents Violet and Graeme pause at the memorial stone to remember their son.
A memorial stone was laid at Sandhill View School, Grindon for former pupil Steven Atkinson, who died aged 12 after being hit by a car. Steven's parents Violet and Graeme pause at the memorial stone to remember their son.
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STRUGGLING to contain their emotions, the parents of Steven Atkinson lay a memorial stone for their special son.

The Sandhill View pupil was killed after being knocked from his bike by a car in Chester Road in October 2009.

A memorial stone was laid at Sandhill View School, Grindon for former pupil Steven Atkinson, who died aged 12 after being hit by a car. The memorial stone, laid in memory of Steven by his dad, Graeme.

A memorial stone was laid at Sandhill View School, Grindon for former pupil Steven Atkinson, who died aged 12 after being hit by a car. The memorial stone, laid in memory of Steven by his dad, Graeme.

The 12-year-old had already battled ill-health after being diagnosed with leukaemia as a toddler.

Devastated friends at Steven’s school wanted to do something to remember their charismatic pal.

So, along with staff, they have held a host of fund-raising activities to create a permanent memorial.

In February, the children made a donation of 50p to wear one bright item of clothing in Steven’s memory.

Teaching staff also held had their own fund-raising events, with science teacher Ian Bird taking part in a sponsored slim.

Students handed over cash to see staff forcing down flavoured worms and insects after ICT teacher Danielle Rhodes organised the competition – I’m a Teacher Get Me Out Of Here.

After all their hard work, the school invited Steven’s parents, Violet and Graeme, along to yesterday’s ceremony to see a memorial stone laid outside the school library.

In an emotional ceremony, led by Canon Stephen Taylor, a cheque for £350 was also presented to Leukaemia Research.

Violet, 39, said: “It is really lovely. A very nice gesture. There is also a memorial at the skate park for him and we go there quite a lot. It is nice to know that people are remembering Steven.

“His uncle Paul Collins, from High Barnes, has also done a lot and he’s doing a sponsored skydive next.”

Pip Dennison, learning co-ordinator for Years Eight and Nine, said: “In his very short life Steven had won hundreds of admirers for the strength he showed in the face of a catalogue of health problems and a three-year battle with leukaemia as a toddler.

“During his time at Sandhill he was remembered for being a popular pupil, full of energy, who enjoyed his good health and lived life to the full.”