Friend and family of student Sophia Forrester from Halifax smash their charity target.

Sophia Forrester and sister Natasha
Sophia Forrester and sister Natasha
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Loved ones of a popular and talented student from Halifax who died when she was just 19 have raised a staggering £21,000 in her memory.

Family and friends of Sophia Forrester, from Savile Park, set out to raise £10,000 in 10 months in her name.

Sophia, who was studying French at Leeds University, died in May last year from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.

But the group have smashed their original target, managing to collect over £21,000 in time for what would have been Sophia’s 21st birthday last Thursday.

Her sister Natasha, 26, said: “£21,000 by her 21st - it could not be any more perfect!

“It’s absolutely amazing. We’re so happy.

“‘I’ve been so proud to have been part of this. It’s been a really positive focus for all of us.”

The money raised will go to Cardiac Risk in the Young - a charity which raises awareness of and funds for research into conditions that can lead to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.

The fund raising taking place over the last 10 months has featured a host of different events, such as climbing the Three Peaks in 24 hours, scaling mountains in Wales and Soctland, a 220-mile sponsored cycle challenge and sponsored five km and 10km runs.

Natasha organised a literary evenign with Sophia’s favourite author, Adele Parks, to add to the collection.

Donations have also been flooding in thanks to a Facebook page and the fund raising team’s website at www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sophiasgang.

“I think Sophia would be really please with the number of people who have taken part,” said Natasha. “Thinking of her has kept us all going through a lot of the challenges.”

Sophia went to The Gleddings, North Halifax Grammar School and Greenhead College in Huddersfield before starting her studies at Leeds University.