MORE than 200 people turned out on an emotional walk in honour of tragic teenager Chloe Fowler.
Family, friends, and members of the tight-knit community of Shiney Row, took part in the two-mile walk in memory of the 14-year-old, who drowned in the Wear last week.
Dubbed Journey Home, it was led by Chloe’s family from the bridge, at Fatfield near to where the girls died, to a green close to Chloe’s house, in Hunter Street.
Best friend Tonibeth Purvis, 15, of Barmston, Washington, who jumped in to help Chloe, also drowned in the accident last Tuesday.
Residents have since rallied round to raise money to help Chloe’s family pay for her funeral, which will take place tomorrow.
Family friend Shirley Wind, who helped organise the walk, said the community are “helping the family out as a family”.
“We have left the family to grieve in peace and the community has done the rest,” she said. “We are trying to help them in any way we can, and doing it in Chloe’s memory.
“No one is responsible for organising it, we’ve done it together. We all want to help.”
Balloons, some bearing Chloe’s name were released outside her home by family and walkers, some of whom wore tops with the girls’ photographs on them, and read rest in peace.
Candles were also then lit outside the family home in her memory.
And though Chloe’s family did not comment, they asked organiser Shirley Teesdale to thank everyone involved.
“Chloe’s family would just like to thank everyone who took part and came along today,” she said.
The £1,252 raised from the walk will help the Fowler family to pay for Chloe’s funeral.
“You don’t plan on having to fund something like this, so we want to help them any way we can.”
Businesses including Fence Houses MOT, Asda, and The Co-op, based in Shiney Row, have also donated money to the cause.
The Co-op, where the Fowlers regularly shop, have so far donated about £1,300, with money still to collect.
Employees who took part in the walk said the store has also donated food to the family.
Chloe’s funeral will take place at 10.30am tomorrow, at Sunderland Crematorium.
Tonibeth’s funeral will take place at 11.30am on Friday at the Holy Trinity Church, Washington Village.
Any donations to either to be made to the North East Air Ambulance Service.