‘A beautiful, kind girl, one in a million and a true inspiration’ – these were just some of the heartfelt tributes paid to Cassie Hayes during an emotional celebration of her life.
The touching ceremony was held at The Alnwick Garden’s Pavilion this afternoon, after the much-loved and popular 28-year-old had been laid to rest at Alnwick Cemetery.
There was standing room only as family and friends – with many wearing yellow, Cassie’s favourite colour – packed in to remember the Alnwick-born mother-of-one, who died after being attacked at the TUI branch in Southport, where she worked, earlier this month.
The Pavilion was decorated with a large picture of Cassie and silver balloons spelling her name.
The poignant celebration of her life opened with the song Wind Beneath My Wings.
Humanist celebrant Stevie Glover conducted the service. She described Cassie – a former Duchess’s Community High School pupil and mammy to four-year-old Ruby – as a unique woman with special qualities and was the glue that held her family together.
She read out heartwrenching and tender statements from Cassie’s mum Tracy and sister Nadine.
In tribute to her daughter, Tracy described Cassie as ‘my best friend, my life, my everything’.
Her touching statement read: ‘Cassie was a true inspiration. She was a beautiful, kind girl and she had a heart of gold. She would do anything for anyone, she was one in a million.
‘She lived her life to the full and she lifted everyone’s spirits with her beautiful smile.
‘She absolutely adored her family. Cassie was an amazing mammy and Ruby was her whole world.’
The room heard how Cassie, who grew up at Clayport Gardens, in Alnwick, was a tomboy when she was little and loved playing with Action Man toys.
Cassie loved her Saturday nights out in Alnwick with her friends and enjoyed singing, dancing and having her mates round for sleepovers.
The statement from Tracy continued: ‘Cassie was laid back and never had a care in the world.’
Cassie was incredibly close to her sister. A statement from Nadine read: ‘My sister, my best friend – I have so many memories, my heart belongs to my sister.
‘Life as I know it will never be the same again. Cassie brought something to my life that I can’t explain.
‘We used to call each other Dude and we had a special bond. We talked every day; days not talking to Cassie didn’t seem right.
‘I love her so much, she meant the world to me. I could be anywhere in the world – if I was with my sis I was so happy.
‘She was one of a kind, she was always up for a good time and she touched so many hearts. I can’t imagine my life without you.’
The family have thanked everyone for their support, both in Alnwick and Southport, and they have expressed their gratitude to those who have donated to SAMM (Support After Murder and Manslaughter) and Victim Support in the wake of Cassie’s death.
Following the family statements, staff from the Southport TUI branch addressed the room. Holding hands in solidarity, and through tears, Cassie’s colleagues praised their life-loving friend.
The service closed with Simply the Best – a fitting song to remember Cassie.