Can you help give young Willow-Raye the farewell she deserves? Banbury family crowdfunds for funeral costs

Tributes are being paid to a young Banbury woman after she unexpectedly died earlier this week.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 7:42 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 9:45 am
Tributes are being paid to a young Banbury woman - Willow-Raye Du Plooy - after she unexpectedly died earlier this week. (Submitted photo from the family)

The family of 21-year-old Willow-Raye Du Plooy has launched a fundraising campaign to help cover the costs of her funeral.

Willow was reported missing to the authorities last Sunday November 28. Following a search, her body was found at Cherwell Valley Services. Her death is being treated as unexplained, but not suspicious, and a file will be prepared for the coroner.

Willow's family have launched a JustGiving online fundraising webpage, which included tributes from her family.

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Tracey Michelle Russell, Willow's mother, said: "Willow was a breath of fresh air. She was my youngest, my baby girl. Willow, I loved you more than life itself. Her face lit up when she smiled and she had a huge heart and would do anything for anyone. I was so proud of her. Nothing was too much trouble for her. She meant the world and the universe to me and I will never get over losing her. Fly high my angel. I will miss you terribly until we meet again."

If the family passes their fundraising target of £4,000 all excess money raised following the completion of the funeral costs, and settling Willow's affairs will go to the mental health charities - Response and MIND.

To contribute to the JustGiving campaign entitled: 'For Willow-Raye du Plooy. You will never be forgotten' use the following web link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/willow-rayeduplooy

Anyone struggling with mental health issues can contact local area charities for help such as Oxfordshire Mind - 24/7 on the following number: 01865 904997 and the Samaritans are also available with a free helpline round the clock on 116 123.

For more information about Oxfordshire MIND see their website here: https://www.oxfordshiremind.org.uk/ and the mental health charity Response here: https://www.response.org.uk/Leon du Plooy, Willow's father, said: "Of all the dreams a father can have for his children. I would never for a moment have dreamt you would spend most of your life searching for the answers in your own head.

"I won't walk you down the aisle. I won't see you raise children. But when I look back on your photos and see your smile my heart will be filled with the joy you brought to everyone's lives you were part of. When you get to where you are going my only hope is that you find your peace."

Tristan John, Willow's older brother, said: "My sister was a very misunderstood, kind, loving and caring soul.

"She was always so passionate about the people she cared for and the things she believed in. If she had your back, you'd have a friend for life. She loved hard and loved long.

"Willow deserved so much more than she got from this life. Willow, I hope you find your peace. We will always love you."