SCHOOLS and the University that tragic teenager Natalie Merry once spent her days learning and making friends have honoured her with touching tributes.

Natalie Merry died in a devastating fire at her home on York Street on January 6 this year.

Ayr Advertiser:

Heathfield Primary where Natalie began her journey in life, have joined Prestwick Academy and University West of Scotland in Ayr to plant cherry blossom trees in her memory.

At Heathfield, a place which holds a special connection for Natalie’s mum Jennifer, also a former pupil of the school, a bench has also been placed with the words “Everyone’s Friend” etched onto a plaque.

The bench will be secured over the summer so that it can remain a place of remembrance for Natalie.

Her former primary 4 teacher, Lindsay Connell joined her mum and current pupils who stood and sang the schools song.

Lindsay Connell told the Ayr Advertiser: “It was emotional.

“But it was a nice fitting memorial for Natalie.”

“She was a delight to teach, a model pupil. Just a lovely hard-working girl and kind to everybody.”

The primary teacher’s connection to Natalie stretches back to when Natalie was a baby and was friends with her son.

Lindsay added: “It’s particularly nice for me so I can remember her. It’s nice for Jennifer, Natalie’s mum, as she was a pupil here herself it’s a place of significance.”

Ayr Advertiser:

Natalie a former nursing student was also recognised by her university in Ayr.

At the University West of Scotland campus lies a tree in memory of her which as planted in the Spring.

Julie Edgar, Dean of UWS’ School of Health and Life Sciences told the Ayr Advertiser: “We were deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Natalie Merry.

“In partnership with her family, we held a special memorial event this Spring during which a cherry blossom tree was planted on campus with a plaque placed below the tree in Natalie’s memory.”

The trees were donated by Dobbies who last week said they were “honoured” to support Natalie’s family.

Chris Jordan, General manager at Dobbies Ayr said: “The team at Dobbies Ayr were honoured to support Natalie Merry’s family and friends during this difficult time.

“We donated three cherry blossom trees which have been planted at the University of the West of Scotland (Ayr Campus), Prestwick Academy and Heathfield Primary School where all family and friends can remember Natalie.”