For the love of Adam

Vic, Daniel, Jessica and Rob Lawton with the memorial bench.
Vic, Daniel, Jessica and Rob Lawton with the memorial bench.

A ONE-of-a-kind bench has been unveiled at an Alnwick school, in memory of a one-of-a-kind boy.

Children, teachers and parents gathered at St Michael’s C of E First School on Friday to pay tribute to Adam Lawton, who died last May aged just 11 following a battle with a rare medical condition.

It was the culmination of nearly a year of fund-raising by pupils to pay for a unique bench, which now stands in the school playground on Howling Lane.

And in brilliant sunshine, they marked the occasion by singing Adam’s favourite song – If I Was A Butterfly – before sister Jessica released bright yellow balloons into the clear blue skies above.

Football-mad Adam was a former pupil at St Michael’s and then next door at Barndale House School. Despite suffering from Williams Syndrome, which is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder, he greeted every day of his life with a smile.

St Michael’s headteacher Sally Lamb said: “The school council was asked to think of a special way to remember Adam and came up with the idea for a memorial bench, designed to reflect Adam’s smile and a rainbow.

“We visited Paul Smith, a craftsman at the Smithy at Etal, who created this beautiful piece of work from English oak grown on the Ford and Etal Estate.”

To add a final personal touch, Jessica penned an inscription which has been carved into the back-rest. It reads: “Adam, the memory of your smile brightens our lives.”

Parents Vic and Rob Lawton, together with brother Daniel, were also present for the unveiling, while Adam’s granddad donated a colourful play parachute to the school.

Mrs Lawton said: “Words can’t express how grateful we are for all the support we have received over the last 10 months. The whole school has done Adam proud. It shows just how much he was loved by everyone.”

“He’ll have been smiling down on us all today.”

A cheque for £400 to support the work of the Williams Trust was also presented, raised by pupils, parents and staff.