FAMILY and friends of 16-year-old Jade Clark released 70 balloons in her memory at Carvers Recreation Ground in Ringwood on Saturday.

Several hundred people gathered in the field to show their support, with numbers greatly boosted by scooterists and bikers who rode up from Bournemouth in convoy that afternoon to pay their own respects.

Jade was a much-loved member of Ringwood’s Young Firefighters Association and local fire watch manager Kevin Morrison led the assembly in a two-minute silence before the balloons were released.

They raised £1,144 which will go to the family’s charity of choice.

In a short speech he welcomed the scooterists and riders saying their support was much appreciated by the family.

Jade's dad Billy Herald said it was an “overwhelming” moment when the balloons went up.

Lizzie Kirkhope, one of many of Jade's friends present, said: “It is something we can remember Jade by, she will never be forgotten.

“It was an emotional moment, I tried to hold it back but I couldn't.

“I am really pleased to see so many of her friends have come along here tonight to show their support.”

Jayne Gosling, whose daughter Kim went to school with Jade, said: “Everyone in the town knew her, if you saw her walking down the road just her smile would completely brighten up your day.

“We just wanted to come along and show our support for her family.

“I think the whole of Ringwood would have turned out for this today if they could, everyone I have spoken to has been devastated by it.”

Ringwood mum and family friend Kerry Sartin, who helped Jade’s friends organise the event, said: “It is great to see so many people here.

“This is something Jade’s friends wanted to do for her and I am pleased everyone has shown their support.”