34 balloons for Samuel

The friends of Sam Stopforth and his girlfriend Hollie Dann prepare to release the balloons in his memory
The friends of Sam Stopforth and his girlfriend Hollie Dann prepare to release the balloons in his memory
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Friends and family of a teenager, thought to have jumped to his death from the Bennerley Viaduct, said farewell with a balloon release in his memory.

Each of the 34 people who gathered at the Cotmanhay viaduct on Saturday wrote a special, personal message to Samuel Stopforth to attach to one of the blue balloons.

The friends of Sam Stopforth and his girlfriend Hollie Dann release the memorial balloons from the viaduct where he died

The friends of Sam Stopforth and his girlfriend Hollie Dann release the memorial balloons from the viaduct where he died

The event was organised by the 19-year-old’s girlfriend Hollie Dann, who said she had been devastated by Samuel’s untimely death on Monday October 1.

“I’d been in hibernation for about six weeks after it happened,” she said.

“I just decided I was sick of feeling that way and wanted to do something special in his memory.”

The pair had been going out for about a year before Samuel died, she explained.

Samuel had moved to Cotmanhay from Coventry in 2008 but had made many friends in the area.

“He was completely selfless, he always thought of others,” she said.

“He always cheered me up no matter what and always had a smile on his face.”

Samuel’s body was found by a dog walker at the foot of the viaduct on October 1.

Samuel’s best friend Samuel Price ran a half marathon in Coventry in his memory and to raise money for the Samaritans, a charity which offers support for people at their lowest ebb.

Hollie, 20, also raised money for the organisation at the event on Saturday, gathering a total 0f £115.

She is now planning to run the Edinburgh Marathon and even climb Mount Everest to raise cash for the charity.

To add to the cash already collected and to sponsor Hollie on her next fundraising endeavours go to www.justgiving.com/thisisforyousam.