Mystery death of Sunderland teen sparks community effort

Tiegan Watson, 12, with fellow Sandhill View School pupils and members of the A690 Initiative with Sue Allison in the memorial garden created at her Grindon home in memory of Sue's daughter Toni who died in July.
Tiegan Watson, 12, with fellow Sandhill View School pupils and members of the A690 Initiative with Sue Allison in the memorial garden created at her Grindon home in memory of Sue's daughter Toni who died in July.
0
Have your say

A MEMORIAL garden to honour a teenager who mysteriously died while out with pals has been completed.

Kind-hearted volunteers from Sunderland’s A690 Youth Project have been working hard to create a touching tribute to their pal Toni Allison.

From: lee hedley [mailto:hedleylee1980@gmail.com] 'Sent: 17 June 2011 11:16'To: Echo News'Subject: Fwd: photo of toni allison''copy pic  Toni Allison who died suddenly

From: lee hedley [mailto:hedleylee1980@gmail.com] 'Sent: 17 June 2011 11:16'To: Echo News'Subject: Fwd: photo of toni allison''copy pic Toni Allison who died suddenly

The popular 17-year-old, of Galway Road, Grindon, collapsed and died while on a day out in Middlesbrough in June.

Shocked friends were determined to do something to mark the life of the former City of Sunderland College student, who was a volunteer at the A690 group.

Last month, they started work on transforming Toni’s mum Sue’s garden into a tranquil haven where family can gather to remember her.

Now the memorial garden is complete with new paving stones, hanging baskets, benches and plants.

“It’s a very special place for us where we can go and remember Toni,” said Sue, 51.

“It’s also a place for her friends to come and remember her.”

She added: “The garden is absolutely lovely and I’m so grateful for everyone who has helped with it.

“It’s got benches in it for people to sit on, a lot of plants, the garden has also been paved and it all looks so lovely. Toni would have loved it.”

Sue had planned on buying a memorial bench to place at Sunderland Crematorium in Toni’s memory.

But then the grieving mum decided she would rather buy a special bench for her back garden.

When Carla Cuthbertson, of the A690 Project, heard of Sue’s plight she decided to get together a group of Toni’s friends from the project to create the special space.

“Getting this garden done has kept us going,” said Sue.

Hundreds of devastated friends, dressed in bright and colourful clothing, said a final goodbye to Toni at her funeral, where she was described as a “much-loved daughter, sister, amazing aunty, best mate and friend”.

A page dedicated to the teenager’s memory was also set up on social networking website Facebook, with more than 1,100 signing up to leave their touching tributes.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho