Funeral of Dorset beach landslide victim Charlotte Blackman
Hundreds of people have gathered for the funeral of a woman killed in a landslide on a Dorset beach.
Charlotte Blackman, 22, was on holiday with her family and boyfriend when she was crushed by 400 tons of rock in Burton Bradstock, on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.
Ms Blackman, from Heanor, Derbyshire, died on Hive Beach on July 24, in a landslide from which her boyfriend and father were pulled free.
Her body was found following a nine-hour search.
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It later emerged that walkers had been warned to "beware of landslides and other hazards" four days before Ms Blackman’s death.
A statement on Dorset County Council's website stated the "exceptionally wet weather" of recent months had led to a "heightened risk of rock falls" and advised members of the public to "stay well away from the cliffs at all times".
Ms Blackman gained a first-class honours degree in education studies from the University of Derby earlier this year, and was looking forward to becoming a teacher. She was a volunteer at Derbyshire Autism Services Group.
She was described as “an inspirational beautiful young lady” by the siblings of her boyfriend Matt Carnell.
Her funeral is being held this morning at Bramcote Crematorium, and will be followed by a family-only burial at Heanor Cemetery.
Guests have been asked to wear bright clothing and a flower in their hair, or something “butterfly-related”.
Thousands of people have turned to Facebook to pass on their condolences. The RIP Charlotte Blackman page has 3,216 members.
This morning Gail Bestwick wrote on the social networking site: “Thinking of you all at this sad time RIP Charlotte god bless you all xxx”.
Meanwhile Lucy Imlach said: “I will be thinking of you all this morning. Rest in peace Charlotte”.
Earlier this week Sinead Blackman wrote: “Don't want to cry for you i need you here with us miss you more than anything! :((“.
In a statement Vickie Butler, the sister of Ms Blackman's boyfriend Matt Carnell, said: “The tragic events of last week have changed our lives completely.
“What had been an idyllic, enjoyable family holiday very quickly turned into a living nightmare that will be etched in our minds forever.
“Charlotte was an inspirational beautiful young lady, whose love and passion for life touched many. Her motto ‘ life is too short to be anything but happy’ truly encapsulates her as a person.
“Her family and friends were a huge part of her life, her Mum Rachel, Dad Kev, sister Sinead and brother Mitchell, together with her childhood sweetheart Matt, whom she shared so many plans with, for a bright future together.”
Margaret Reeve, Derbyshire Autism Services Group manager, said Charlotte was a dedicated and committed volunteer.
She added: "Working one-to-one with a child out in the community, encouraging communication and teaching appropriate responses came as second nature to Charlotte.
"The future in education looked so positive for Charlotte who would have been an inspirational teacher.
"Charlotte, always bright, positive and smiling, and with a flower in her hair, was a truly lovely human being both inside and out and it was our privilege as an organisation to have had her as a team member."
Her family have set up the Charlotte Blackman Memorial Fund, to raise awareness and funding for local charities for autistic and vulnerable children.