DOZENS of red balloons were released into the sky on Friday in memory of Lauren Lelonek following a funeral service for the Rudheath teenager.

The heart and star-shaped balloons were released at St Helen’s Church in Northwich, where the funeral took place for the 16-year-old.

More than 100 people took part in the funeral procession from Lauren’s home in Braemar Avenue to the church, which was led by a horse-drawn hearse.

Red was chosen for the balloons as it was Lauren’s favourite colour, and people who took part in the procession wore red T-shirts in her memory.

One of those who walked to the church was family friend Katy Sneyd, who organised a walk around Rudheath to bring the community together and to show its respects to Lauren’s family.

Katy is the chairman of the Friends of Rudheath Primary Academy, which Lauren attended before going onto the University of Chester Academy Northwich.

Five hundred people took part in the walk around Rudheath, and there was not enough room in the church to accommodate everyone who wished to attend the funeral service.

“The atmosphere during the walk was quiet and respectful, and the service was a fitting tribute to Lauren,” said Katy.

“Some people were standing outside because of the number of people attending the service, and Lauren’s family thanked the community for its support.”

The service included a performance by singer Olivia Stokes of a song which she had written in memory of Lauren.

Olivia is to perform the song at an evening in memory of Lauren entitled Stand Up, Speak Out, at the Memorial Court in Northwich on Saturday, July 16.

Lauren was found dead at her home on June 10.