A heartbroken family have said their goodbyes to a “cheeky, fun loving girl” who killed herself after being bulled at school.
Charley Patterson, aged 12, was found dead on October 1 after she took her own life.
The teenager from Cramlington, Northumberland, had repeatedly sought help from professionals after her mental health suffered when she was bullied at school, reports The Chronicle.
But she was told she could spend as much as three years on waiting lists with no little follow up from the service that was meant to care for her.
Her family, mum Jay, dad Paul and siblings Jake, 11, Callum, 15, Kylah, 16, and Sophie, 18, are all still struggling to come to terms with her death.
They are also battling for fundamental changes to children’s mental health provision in her memory.
Jay said: “She was like my shadow. During the day in the week it is easier because it’s as though she is at school. It is on a night or on a weekend and she’s not there. When you’re making dinner and there’s one less meal to make. It is so hard.”
Charley’s loved ones gathered at Whitley Bay Crematorium on Friday to say their final farewell.
Due to coronavirus restrictions it meant only 15 people were allowed to attend, with others watching online.
Her coffin was drew by horses wearing headdresses in her favourite colour in an ornate carriage.
During the service Charley’s dad Paul shared a poem he had written in honour of his daughter, celebrating her “smile to fill your heart”, her love of animals, especially horses, of music, of Tik Tok, of kickboxing.
He mourned the wedding bells his daughter would never hear; the car she would never learn to drive; the aspirations she would never get to fulfil; the family home left “so empty” without her.
Charley was described as “a ball of energy and fun”, “cheeky” and had her dad “wrapped around her little finger.”
Mourners reflected on her life as they listened to Thursday by Jess Glynne, which her mum always felt had been written just for Charley.
Her brother Jay shared memories of her jumping into lakes, dodging PE lessons with her friends, and moments of “stubbornness” at school, when she refused to speak to a teacher who called her by her full name, Charley-Ann.
Jay said: “Her smile always reached her eyes, she always had a cheeky smile and a wisecrack upon her lips.
“We are all going to miss her sass, her cheek, her smile, her sense of fun, and as hard as it is to hear and to say, she’s no longer hurting and no longer afraid.
“The love that we have for her will stay forever in our hearts. She has always been my miracle baby girl and always will be.
“She will always be with us.”
Callum shared a poem, Sophie lit a candle and Kyla and Jake placed a rose on Charley’s coffin, which was decorated with horses running free.
Grandma Beryl read a poem called “So Go and Run Free”, which reminded her of stories Charley’s dad would tell her about angels when she was younger.
Donations were collected at the end of the service for the planned Charley-Ann Patterson Trust, which is set to provide young people in the area with a safe space not only to attend activities, but to be able to share anything their struggling with in a confidential space with trained adults.