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Tribute to Jess Hayes

Please take some time to read the heart-warming tribute to Jess below:

UCC tribute to Jessica Hayes

We were deeply saddened by the news that Jessica Hayes, one of our students in Year 11, tragically passed away whilst on holiday with her family in Greece.

Jessica was a popular character at UCC and was well liked by students and staff. She will be greatly missed by everyone at UCC and we will always remember her.

She had so much potential to achieve whatever she wanted to in life; she had such a fabulous personality and we are devastated she is no longer with us.

Our school community has been rocked to the core by Jessica’s tragic death and we will work with our students to create a fitting tribute in memory of her life.

A number of our members of staff who worked closely with Jessica have paid tribute to her below:

Mr Sievewright (Jessica’s Progress Leader), said “Jess was larger than life, she would light up a room and she lived for the moment. She was bright, articulate, infectious through her personality, her confidence and laughter, and had a real zest for life. Jess was, and will always be remembered as, a character. Jess was always passionate about what she liked and believed in, from issues in society, TikTok, and her take on school uniform! As her Progress Leader, I know how much she had to offer, to those around her and in the future, and have no doubt that she would have been successful at whatever she turned her hand to. Her friendship group, her form, us as a school community, we mourn her loss, truly and deeply, but our lives are, in different ways, richer for the experience of having known her. We do and will miss her terribly, but, just as she did, we should make her proud by taking and making the most of every opportunity that life presents to us.”

Miss Clayton (Jessica’s Form Tutor), said “I have had the privilege of being Jess' tutor for just over a year and in that time she made a huge impression on me. She never failed to bring a smile to my face each morning and was always happy to help. Jess had a wonderful ability to see the best in people, treating everyone equally and could speak to anyone! She was a bright, kind and beautiful soul who will be missed sorely. Sweet dreams Jess.”

Mrs Lowe (Jessica’s Personal Development Coach), said “Jessica was a bright bubbly young lady who always took the time to ask how I was or if I had had a good weekend. She always listened to the advice I gave her and was working hard to achieve her potential this year. Jessica would often give me advice about nail colour and design but despite her numerous efforts she never managed to persuade me to try the self tan route even though she assured “you won’t look too orange”. I will miss her positive energy and her sense of humour as there are so many times she made my laugh.”

Mr Joy (Jessica's Food Technology teacher) said "Jess was hard-working, focused and unbelievably dedicated to the things and people she was passionate about. As the lesson progressed, she worked well with others and supported them in their learning - Jess was kind, caring and compassionate. She would often show these more discretely, but we all knew they were there. Towards the end of the lesson, she would reflect and ask about next time, and how to improve what she had done - Jess wanted to succeed, she could be driven and she wanted to grow and develop. Mentoring Jess last year was a genuine pleasure and a privilege that I will have, forever. Our meetings (when she remembered them!) were always enjoyable and, I hope, useful. Our lives have been enriched and blessed by having Jess as part of them, and the sadness we feel is the measure of how much Jess meant to all of us."

Jessica had a tremendously positive impact on our school community; we will miss her greatly but we will never forget her. Rest in peace Jessica.

Mr B Solly. 

Jessica's parents were happy for us to share details of a GoFundMe page that has been set up in honour of Jessica's and her cousins' family. You can access this link here: