Rethink Remembers Ciara
£7,732.39 Total Raised
Ciara was born in the South London Hospital on 1st April 1981. She lived in Balham all her life moving to Hydethorpe road when she was a baby. She attended Henry Cavendish primary school where many remember her as a chatty and popular child but also very sensitive. She went to Burntwood secondary school in Tooting where she made many more friends, who remember her with great affection. She completed her A-Levels at Richmond College and then went onto Queen Mary & Westfield University where she obtained a 2.1 degree in Modern languages. Many of her university friends have contacted us and we received letters from Spain, Germany and Greece.
When she was a toddler, she was a complete man hater. Everytime her mum put her near members of the opposite sex, especially ones with beards and moustaches she would cry (she had taste even as a baby!) In fact, having looked through all her toddler pictures, the family noted the only time she was happy and smiling was when she was next to her mummy or eating food! This latter point is something to be noted! Indeed, she grew up to be a complete foodie. Many of her friends will remember trips to Pizzeria on the Green where she would never fail to order her beloved Chocolate desert, she would devour it and look at you with her cheeky smile!
She was the youngest of four and was a complete mummy’s girl. On family holidays, she would often stay with her mother to keep her company whilst the others would go off exploring. Her mother, Jean remembers at one of their annual Easter breaks with their cousins (Donna, Day and Liam) in Butlins, when Ciara was about 6, she got lost and her name was being called out on the stage. Her mother went up to claim her and instead of just being happy to be united, she was red faced and annoyed and told her mother off for leaving her!
Ciara was a very artistic child and would spend hours in her bedroom, drawing pictures of glamorous women in beautiful dresses, with so many amazing styles and colours –
She had even envisaged the infamous Spice girl Union Jack suit way before Jerry wore it! This interest in fashion continued into her adult life. She gave useful fashion, hair and make-up advice to many a friend, always truthful and honest. At family dos, her aunts remember her looking great but also being complimentary about the weight they’d lost and what they were wearing. Even when she was a student she would buy Karen Millen dresses for £150 and after a shopping spree in Superdrug her student loan was almost depleted! She liked what money could buy but money was not something that was important to her and materialism was even less so.
When she was 14, she did her school work experience with Paula at the London bus company. She was so good they kept her on and she worked there every summer from 14-18. She worked on the pavement in Sales competing with the other companies to get the tourists on the bus. She loved the independence and earning money at such a young age and would come home in the evenings adding another language to her set phrase “hop on, hop off – ticket valid for 24 hours” Before long, she was talking snippets Japanese “conitchi wa?” and would impress us all at the dinner table.
For her dregree in modern languages, she had to spend the 3rd year abroad and she chose to go to Montpellier and Madrid. She had completed an English Language teaching qualification that summer and so could work as a teacher. She arrived in a French town where she knew no one and had no contacts and her mother remembers her saying goodbye at the airport where Ciara allayed her worries. She was apprehensive inside no doubt, but acknowledged that this was an integral part of her degree and she settled in and in a few months had made friends from all over the world. After Christmas of that year she went on to teach in Madrid and her sister, Eve remembers sitting in on one of her classes and the way in which she beamed positivity at the students, even when they got things a little wrong. When she left her last job, the students wrote about how much they had enjoyed her lessons and how her energy and enthusiasm had encouraged and inspired them.
She loved getting dressed up and going out! She would always call on her friend Nicola to tame her beautiful mane. She would not leave the house unless she was properly turned out. If friends went to visit her at home, she would happily wear a tracksuit; and I’m sure many of them remember drinking white wine and smoking fags in her green and lilac bedroom. But when she went out, she went to town, fake tan and all!
Throughout her life she loved dancing. Her cousins Lisa and Carly remember making up routines together and having practised all day, would get the final showdown at family dos – Ciara was normally the choreographer.
Boys who spent their teenage years with her attest that if it were not for her, they would be rhythmless. She was a dancing partner to many and would often be the first to get up. Recently, she would show all the new Samba moves she’d mastered.
She had a very good sense of humour and a bubbly personality. She loved a chat and would converse with anyone in many languages. She spoke French, Spanish and Italian, for the most part, flawlessly and was a brilliant linguist. Friends and family alike, remember how she was always laughing and joking. She was strong and brave and had great moral integrity. At family discussions around the dinner table, she would ensure her voice was heard and would reprimand other family members for statements which lacked objectivity or insight into the personal experience of others.
Everybody who met her loved her and despite her problems she achieved so much. However, inside her there was sadness and despite the great love of her family and friends, she felt she could not go on in mental pain.
We will always remember her, she will live in our hearts and minds. May she rest in peace.
This fund represents a virtual space where you can all go when you want to remember Ciara.
The fund is alive and here today just like Ciara’s spirit and essence. If any of you ever want to do something dedicated to her memory, details can be published here (only if you want them to!) and Ciara’s fund will contribute towards Rethink and help to alleviate the pain of individuals who suffer the same illness as Ciara, and their families.
Please treat this as a virtual version of The Book of Memories. We received so many cards, anectodes, poems and stories and would love you to add these here. In this way, Ciaras friends and extended family (all of you) can share in this celebration of her life and nostalgic reminiscing of the humourous and special times I’m sure you all had with her.