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Great Barton teenager Isobel ‘Izzy’ Sheppard remembered with Harry Potter memorial bench





A teenage girl who lost her battle with cancer is being remembered with a memorial bench plucked from the magical world of Harry Potter.

Isobel ‘Izzy’ Sheppard, of Great Barton, was diagnosed at the age of 12 with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer which affects one in a million people.

She had her leg amputated during lockdown but continued to raise funds for Sarcoma UK and raise awareness about the disease.

The bench will be placed in the Woodlands of Remembrance in Culford. Picture: Submitted
The bench will be placed in the Woodlands of Remembrance in Culford. Picture: Submitted
Isobel Sheppard. Picture: Submitted
Isobel Sheppard. Picture: Submitted

However, Izzy died aged 15 at West Suffolk Hospital’s Rainbow Ward in December 2022.

Mum Sam Shepperd said: ”Izzy was the kindest, most amazing young woman with a heart of gold.”

“She was such a huge Harry Potter fan and it was on her wish-list to go to The Cursed Child theatre show which was really great to see.

It was made by Pushforward. Picture: Submitted
It was made by Pushforward. Picture: Submitted

“We also got a special tour at the Harry Potter Studio where Izzy was allowed free reign of the gift shop.”

Sam and her husband Elliot were approached by the charity Pushforward which offered to build and install a bench near their daughter’s grave at the Woodlands of Remembrance in Culford.

The bench is made from the wood of a Queen Beech tree which was JK Rowling’s inspiration behind the Whomping Willow from the fantasy series.

Other Harry Potter themes have been incorporated into the bench’s design including a sign for Platform 9 ¾.

Isobel 'Izzy' Sheppard died at West Suffolk Hospital’s Rainbow Ward in Bury St Edmunds at the age of 15. Picture: Submitted
Isobel 'Izzy' Sheppard died at West Suffolk Hospital’s Rainbow Ward in Bury St Edmunds at the age of 15. Picture: Submitted

Wands, potion bottles, the Hogwarts crest and the Golden Snitch have been set in resin and a metal plaque reads ‘in the memory of Isobel ‘Izzy’ Sheppard. Sadly lost her battle on December 14 2022.’

Izzy was a pupil at Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds and her funeral was held at West Suffolk Cemetery and Crematorium.

Her fund-raising legacy has continued with The Isobel Sheppard Fund sitting at £24,473 for Sarcoma UK.

The bench’s location has been decided and it will be secured without using cement in an effort to match the burial site’s natural surroundings.

Sam added: “It’s very natural and peaceful at the woodland burial and the bench is going under one of the really large trees there.

“It’s going to be a really love place to sit and just remember Izzy.

“It’s not just for us as it will be used by Izzy’s friends and family as well as other people who are visiting their loved ones’ graves too.”

Facebook and Instagram pages called ‘Isobel’s Journey’ post regularly to keep Izzy’s memory alive and to keep fund-raising.