In pictures: Tree-planting ceremony at Sunnylands

Ellie, Jason, Kenzie and Jamie with Lego badges they made in memory of Jackson. INCT 15-207-AM
Ellie, Jason, Kenzie and Jamie with Lego badges they made in memory of Jackson. INCT 15-207-AM

A tree has been planted in memory of Carrickfergus schoolboy Jackson Turner, who died in December after a road traffic collision.

The ceremony took place on Friday morning at Sunnylands Primary School, where Jackson had been a primary four pupil.

Jackson's sister, Ally puts the finishing touches to the memorial tree in the grounds of Sunnylands PS. INCT 15-209-AM

Jackson's sister, Ally puts the finishing touches to the memorial tree in the grounds of Sunnylands PS. INCT 15-209-AM

The seven-year-old passed away after the three-vehicle incident at the Old Carrick Road, Newtownabbey, on Boxing Day.

Among those paying tribute to Jackson were his mum, Lynsey Turner; sister Ally, a primary one pupil at the school; principal Gareth Hamilton, and the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Billy Ashe.

Speaking at the ceremony, Cllr Ashe said: “We’re here this morning to remember Jackson, who God has taken early from us. But I have no doubt that he is still looking down over the school every day, making sure that he’s looking after everybody.”

Located in a small garden area in front of the school, the tree will form a lasting tribute that both pupils and Jackson’s relatives can enjoy, explained Lynsey. “I’ve lived in Carrick all my life and we’ve a big family here,” she added.

Kenzie and Jamie, pupils at Sunnylands PS with the memorial plaque that they and their classmates designed in memory of their friend, Jackson Turner. INCT 15-210-AM

Kenzie and Jamie, pupils at Sunnylands PS with the memorial plaque that they and their classmates designed in memory of their friend, Jackson Turner. INCT 15-210-AM

“We wanted something that Ally and the other kids could watch growing and that we could walk by and see, and be reminded of Jackson.”

The setting for the memorial, meanwhile, reflected Jackson’s love of playing outdoors. “He didn’t come to school for lessons, he came to socialise,” Lynsey said.

Some of Jackson’s closest friends unveiled a colourful memorial plaque during the ceremony, created by pupils with the help of local artist, Janet Crymble.

In a further tribute, several classmates pinned to their school jumpers small figurines made from Lego - one of Jackson’s favourite toys.

Pictured are Sunnylands P1 pupils Poppie, Summer and Katie during the tree planting ceremony in memory of Jackson Turner.  INCT 15-211-AM

Pictured are Sunnylands P1 pupils Poppie, Summer and Katie during the tree planting ceremony in memory of Jackson Turner. INCT 15-211-AM

Mr Hamilton told guests that Jackson was a “cherished member” of the school family.

“He made such a huge impression during his time here; he was such a social boy and he loved to hang out and to play,” he added.

The principal also outlined plans to expand the garden area in the coming months, with several members of staff taking part in the Belfast Marathon next month to raise funds for this.