A family have spoken of their grief at the death of their 16-year-old daughter and sister from cancer.
Twin Natasha Simmonds, of Westfield, was dreaming of a career in child care.
As her parents, boyfriend, friends and twin sister Fiona struggle to come to terms with the tragedy, they say their lives have been unexpectedly brightened by the support of local young people.
They say Natasha, known as Tash, was a pretty blonde with a very big heart.
The Norton Radstock College student was training in child care and dreamed of one day working with children with special needs.
She had fallen in love and was planning her bright future when her life was cut tragically short.
Her mum Sarah said it was impossible to describe how much she missed her daughter.
Mrs Simmonds said: “Tash was loved by so many people. She had a heart of gold. She could be fiery but was such a caring person. She wouldn’t tolerate fools and would rather not go with the crowd.
“She was a beautiful person, unique and one of a kind. She was passionate about a career with children. I just can’t believe she has gone. None of us can.”
Twin sister Fiona said she had not only lost her sister but also her best friend.
Tash’s funeral takes place tomorrow at St John the Baptist Church, Midsomer Norton, at 11am.
The family would like everyone to wear bright colours so that it is a celebration of Tash’s life.
Donations for a memorial bench are being collected through Clarksons Independent Funeral Directors at 7 Windsor Place, Upper Bristol Road, Bath BA1 3DF.
TATTOO TRIBUTE TO TASH
As Tash’s devastated loved ones experienced unthinkable heartbreak an unexpected ray of light broke through their sorrow.
Dan Hurlow did not know Tash but after hearing about her sudden death from friends he was moved to help raise money to pay for the funeral no parent ever should ever experience.
He decided to have 16 different small tattoos along his right leg and to charge his friends £10 for designing them.
Sarah said: “I need to let the whole world know what an amazing young man Dan Hurlow is. Who would have thought that an afternoon having cuppas would lead to them coming up with the idea to allow Dan’s friends to donate money to tattoo him, to raise money for my daughter’s funeral?
“Me and my family are totally blown away by this and overwhelmed by his kindness, selflessness, generosity and courage; no words can express how grateful we are. He truly is a hero in our eyes. Big thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
The tattoos were inked at Demonic Dermagraphic, in Radstock, where the tattooist closed his studio to allow family and friends to celebrate Tash’s life in this unusual way.
Many people donated much more than £10, and Sarah described the compassion and kindness shown by all the young people who took part as “overwhelming”.
She added: “I can tell you we’ll remember them for life.”