SCORES of people descended on North Bay beach for an emotional farewell to teenager Joe Roberts-Anderson.
The 17-year-old Scarborough Sixth Form College pupil died in the early hours of Wednesday, a month after a kidney transplant that he thought would save his life.
Yesterday, friends and family released hundreds of blue balloons in his memory.
Friends consoled each other as they remembered the A-level student, who organiser Lucy Rose called “the loveliest boy you could ever meet”.
Fifteen-year-old Lucy was good friends with Joe, and following his death she used Facebook to organise the launch. Within a couple of days, more than 700 people had given their backing to the idea.
Lucy said this was something Joe would have liked. She said Joe’s friends had struggled with the loss and the event was a positive way to focus their grief, and to remember the boy “who never stopped smiling”.
Teaching staff from Scarborough Sixth Form College and his old school Raincliffe also came to pay their respects. Suzanne Swan taught Joe how to cook and had awarded him ‘Student of the Year’. She said: “He just had this fantastic sense of humour, he was one of those kids who just knew how to make you smile. He was a lovely lad.”
Kevin Mainprize didn’t know Joe personally, although his daughter was close to him. However, after going through a kidney-transplant himself, he sent Joe messages of support before his operation.
However, when he heard of his death, he said the news had brought him to tears.
“I just knew what he would have gone through, and the plans that he would have made for the future.”
His visibly moved brother Robbie Hawkes said the event was “unbelievable”, adding: “We just didn’t expect it to be this big. It means a lot.”