HUNDREDS of locals have turned out to say farewell to tragic schoolgirl Helena Farrell.

Mourners have turned out in their droves to pay their respects to the 15-year-old, at events at the Castle Green Hotel and Kendal Castle this afternoon.

The Farewell Celebration at the hotel on Sedbergh Road, close to where Helena’s body was found last Friday evening, was attended by friends, family and teachers.

Some of those in attendance stood up and gave readings, while the Amabile Choir and friends from the Royal Northern College of Music performed songs they knew the teen had enjoyed performing with them herself.

Helena’s father, Enda Farrell, played an Irish folk tune on the tin whistle that he and Helena had previously enjoyed playing together.

Others simply talked about their favourite memories or described the happy and popular girl they had known when she was alive.

Those gathered also heard about Helena’s love of all things quirky, while friends, Olivia and Katie, said: “No words can bring Helena back and nor can they do her justice.”

ABOVE: Lanterns are released at Kendal Castle

A minute’s silence was observed before the youngsters favourite cakes were served up.

Helena, a pupil at Kirkbie Kendal School, was found dead around 10pm last Friday in woodland behind the hotel.

Her family described her as a 'loved and cherished' daughter who excelled in the arts and sport, particularly hockey and swimming.

She was also a member of the Westmorland Youth Orchestra, the Amabile Girls’ Choir and had studied in the Royal Northern College of Music’s junior section.

After the Farewell Celebration, hundreds more people then travelled up to Kendal Castle where Chinese lanterns and candles were lit in her memory as dusk fell.

A candle in the shape of an ‘H’ and a heart were lit, as well as 15 lanterns - one for each year she was alive.

Snow fell as the Amabile Choir sang ‘Keep Holding On’ before ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was played to celebrate Helena’s role as Scaramouche in the Kirkbie Kendal School’s production of We Will Rock You.

‘Paradise’ by Coldplay, one of Helena’s favourite songs, was also played.

A family friend addressed those assembled, saying: “The family would like to express how overwhelmed and humbled they are by all of your support.

“They would like to thank the Kendal community who have come out to support them in their greatest hour of need.

“And they want to thank all the most fantastic young people of our town who have shown remarkable maturity, empathy and kindness in their expressions of love for their daughter.

“In Helena’s father’s own words: we’ve absolutely amazing and fantastic bright young people in our town and I’m sorry that this sadness has visited them.

“But I hope that by understanding what happened to Helena they can take courage to live long, eventful lives and look back when they’re 80 or 90 and realise that it was a really tough time but that they came through it and went on to have wonderful lives.”

Chocolate brownies - Helena's 'trademark' cake - were handed out before the youngsters in attendance were urged to go home to their parents and families.