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Haverhill school creates a memorial garden in tribute to one of its teaching staff who died at the age of 22




A lasting tribute has been created at a Haverhill school in honour of a ‘much-loved’ and ‘bubbly’ member of its staff who died just a few months after becoming a mum.

A memorial garden at Burton End Primary Academy has been dedicated to Shannon Kicks, who worked at the school as a reception class teaching assistant but died suddenly of natural causes in August 2018, just a few days after her 22nd birthday.

Shannon was on maternity leave when she died, having given birth to son Theo just three months earlier.

Theo Kicks, two, sitting on the bench dedicated to his mum Shannon. Submitted picture
Theo Kicks, two, sitting on the bench dedicated to his mum Shannon. Submitted picture
Theo Kicks, two, sitting on the bench dedicated to his mum Shannon. Submitted picture
Theo Kicks, two, sitting on the bench dedicated to his mum Shannon. Submitted picture

She was herself a former pupil at the School Lane primary.

Shannon’s cousin, Jas Franklin, who has worked at Burton End as a Reception class teacher for a year and is now the school’s outdoor lead, has overseen the completion of the garden, completing it over a number of weeks during the lockdown period.

She has received help from a group of volunteers and a lot of time has also been offered by Amanda Denley, a TA who worked along with Shannon in Reception.

Shannon Kicks. Submitted picture (42295732)
Shannon Kicks. Submitted picture (42295732)

Jas said the garden project was begun by the Friends of Burton End (FOBE), before she joined the school.

FOBEraised money for the garden, which includes a bench with the inscription, ‘In memory of Miss Kicks’, and having done so, the project was taken forward, with Jas leading the way.

Jas thanked Scotsdales Garden Centre, in Horningsea, for donating some plants for the garden, which also features an archway and a path lined on each side by flowers.

The memorial garden at Burton End Primary Academy in Haverhill. Submitted picture
The memorial garden at Burton End Primary Academy in Haverhill. Submitted picture

She also thanked DM Baxter Landscaping, who completed the groundwork.

Jas said: “It was officially opened just before the summer holidays and the family (of Shannon) came on the day to cut the ribbon.

“They really liked it. Theo, who fingers crossed is coming to Burton End when he gets older, and they are looking forward to it being an outdoor area he can use if he comes to the school.

“Everyone talks about Shannon so it will be a nice area for him to use.

“We are hoping to use it as an outdoor learning area because it’s in a calm area of the school.

“Shannon was very popular with children and parents.

“I think she would appreciate it (the garden). She was very much into colourful things. She was a very bubbly character and the flowers represent that, being so colourful.”

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