The memory of a much-loved mum and 'precious' daughter lives on as her legacy continues to help west Dorset schoolchildren and cancer patients.

Rebecca Harris, from Bridport, died from cancer in 2014.

Since then, two walks have taken place along the Jurassic Coast in her name.

Walkers trekked from Charmouth to Symondsbury School to raise money for the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust and to support schools with arts and outdoor learning projects.

David Evans, chairman of the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, said: "The amazing donations in memory of Rebecca came at a crucial time for Fortuneswell. The first gave us the confidence to commit to the £750,000 appeal for the Cancer Centre at DCH, whilst the second came towards the end of the appeal when donations were slowing down. We were delighted to receive the donations, and it was a great joy to meet some of those who had worked and walked to raise the money.'"

Becca would have turned 40 this month, and The Rebecca Harris Memorial Trust felt it was a 'perfect time' to inform the public about what the funds raised from the walks went to support at schools in Bridport.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

At Symondsbury School, 'Bec’s Garden' was landscaped and planted, creating a, sensory garden and woodland play area to complement the existing pond and wildlife areas.

It was funded by the first Rebecca Harris walk and benefitted from some expert voluntary help by enthusiastic parents who knew Bec and her two boys at the school. The garden also received donations from several local businesses, including Groves Nursery, Eype Down Sawmill, Phillips Sand and Gravel, Dorset Forest and Tree Care and Coastal Nets.

The garden has become an integral part of the school and is enjoyed by all year groups, whether it be making perfumes from the scented plants, a quiet area to read a book, a place to explore and forage or just to gather as a group and chat.

Plans now include planting a pollinators area, to not only delight the children with a beautiful display of year-round colour, but to teach the importance of small pollinating insects and bees.

This will be funded by the 2018 walk, with the work being carried out by the school’s gardening club and parent volunteers.

St Mary's School used their funds to develop an outdoor learning provision and were able to purchase quality tarpaulins that have been used for den building by their Forest School club and classes to develop their team building skills. The school also bought a fire pit and tools that have been used by their after school Forest School club and in their design and technology lessons and topic days.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Headteacher Claire Legg said: “The fund has been greatly appreciated at a time when budgets are increasingly tight and has made a real difference to the activities that we have been able to offer our children. This term the children have been able to cook outdoors and make more challenging tools for their Tribal Tales topic”

Kate Drew, of Loders School, said: “We are most grateful for the donation received from the Becca Harris fund. The money has been paid in to our PTFA fund which is saving towards an outdoor classroom to benefit the whole school and help the children to enjoy and appreciate being outside.

"They will participate in forest school type activities as well as general lessons in an outdoor environment. The area will be built once further funding is received from the Co-op; we are one of its chosen charities. Construction should be completed in the earlier part of 2020."

Bridport Primary School bought playground equipment for the KS1 playground - a wooden framed playhouse and some monkey bars - while at Burton Bradstock School, the funds were used for an art teacher Eileen Dearden to come to run a workshop for Years 5 and 6 classes. Eileen went on to offer an after school club to produce a piece of artwork which represented the schools values. This is now on display in a prominent place at the school and the children can see it as they go into assembly every day.

Other local schools are holding the funds donated towards future projects.

According to The Rebecca Harris Memorial Trust, there are no plans, as yet, to organise another coastal walk in memory of Rebecca, but the family and friends, contributors and walkers continue to offer support and carry out fund raising for cancer charities which it 'hopes can at least make some difference for other people afflicted by this indiscriminate illness.'

Rebecca’s parents, Julie and Robert Harris, have expressed their gratitude to all the people that took part.

"Both events were joyous occasions and it is so important to them that the memory of their precious daughter lives on," said the trust.