Published: 00:01, 17 August 2017
The former school of tragic teenager Taiyah Peebles is opening up its doors to host a celebration of her life.
A gathering at the Spires Academy today will follow the funeral of the popular 16-year-old who was tragically killed on the railway line at Herne Bay last month.
An investigation by British Transport Police into the circumstances is continuing after her body was found on the tracks early on July 26. She is thought to have been electrocuted.
Taiyah, of Spenser Road, Herne Bay, had studied at the Spires and was due to start an art and design course at Canterbury College next month.
Her funeral has taken place at Thanet Crematorium today, where hundreds of friendsjoined her heartbroken family for her final farewell.
Spires’ principal Nikki Matin was among the hundreds of people paying tribute to Taiyah after her death.
Now, despite being closed for the summer holidays, the school has offered its facilities for the wake and a celebration of her life.
Taiyah’s mum, Hayley, 46, said: “It is incredibly kind of the school to offer it to us.
“We are catering for between 300 and 400 people so needed a big venue.
“It means we can really celebrate her life with her favourite music and a slideshow of pictures of her throughout her life.”
The generosity to the family has been widespread.
A GoFundMe page set up to help pay funeral costs has so far raised almost £1,800, and Lehane Travel is providing two coaches to take Taiyah’s friends from the crematorium to Spires after the funeral service.
Mrs Peebles said: “We can’t thank everyone enough for all the support we have had. Everyone has been so kind and the generosity has been amazing.”
Friends have also been writing tributes to be read out by celebrant Angela Rowe at the service, which is expected to last about 90 minutes.
Mrs Peebles said: “Because there are going to be so many youngsters there, I didn’t want it to feel rushed and we will have speakers outside for those who cannot squeeze in.
"We are also having the service filmed so we will have a DVD of it.
“I want it to be as relaxed as it possibly can be and for everyone to wear or carry something red, which was Taiyah’s favourite colour.”
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