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Fund to create climbing wall in memory of M53 crash teenager Jessica Baker raises more than £18,000 in 24 hours

8 months ago

Fund to create climbing wall in memory of M53 crash teenager Jessica Baker raises more than £18,000 in 24 hours
Jessica Baker (picture released by her family)

A memorial fundraiser to ‘honour’ teenager Jessica Baker has raised more than £18,000 in the first 24 hours after its launch.

The money will be used to create a climbing wall with a memorial plaque for the former West Kirby Grammar School pupil, Jessica Baker, who was killed when a coach carrying students from West Kirby and Calday Grange Grammar Schools overturned on the M53.

Jessica, 15, and coach driver Stephen Shrimpton, 40, both lost their lives as a result of the incident on Friday, September 29.

West Kirby Grammar School set up the GoFundMe with a target of £30,000 yesterday (Thursday, October 12), so they can convert part of their existing quad into a ‘vibrant climbing wall area’.

They said it recognised Jessica’s ‘insatiable appetite for climbing and her desire to enthuse others in this area’, and that it was being created ‘in the hope of bringing joy to many for years to come’.

The project will include the installation of a 20ft climbing wall and replacing the existing surface with a rubberised surface. Gating and fencing around the area will be extended and a memorial plaque will be put up.

Stephen Shrimpton
Stephen Shrimpton

On the GoFundMe page the school said:

“We have worked closely with Jessica’s family and friends to identify a project that we collectively believe to be the most fitting way to honour her memory.”

WKGS went on to praise Jessica:

“Unequivocally kind and empathetic, Jessica was a dedicated friend who was a well-liked and respected member of our school community. 

“She was an unassuming, polite, and conscientious student who exemplified the values of our school. 

“Jessica was also a keen sportswoman, representing her House and the school in numerous competitions, and demonstrating an unwavering love of – and commitment to – rock climbing, where she had previously represented Wales in national competitions.”

Previously headteacher Simeon Clarke had said: “Jessica will be greatly and sadly missed by her friends, teammates, classmates, and all at West Kirby Grammar School who had the pleasure and privilege to encounter her.

“These are difficult and challenging times for many of us, but I have always had, and continue to have, great belief in the strength of our community to support one another and pull together in times of need.”

Anyone wishing to donate to the fund for the wall in memory of Jessica Baker can click HERE.

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