A FAMILY has paid tribute to a "star in the making" who would have celebrated her 18th birthday this week.

Lauren Hawkins passed away in hospital at the age of 16, three days after she suffered a cardiac arrest in July 2020 at Redcotts Park in Wimborne.

Lauren, who lived in Bearwood, was a talented dancer and singer who was a member of the elite London-based West End Kids musical theatre troupe in 2019.

Yesterday, November 23, would have been her 18th birthday.

Her family said they were devastated that they could not celebrate this milestone day with her.

They said they are still trying to come to terms with the loss of such a "lovely, talented girl who had the world at her feet".

"She was a star in the making," Lauren's family said.

"Lauren was a popular girl who would light up the room with her presence.

"Because of Covid-19 restrictions we still await the ordeal of her inquest."

Earlier this month, Lauren's friends at Step by Step Dance Academy held their annual show at the Pavilion as a tribute in her honour, memory and celebration in advance of her 18th birthday.

Her family added: "We all miss her terribly and she should never have suffered such an awful death and died so young.

"Rest in peace our angel."

Bournemouth Echo: The Lovely Lauren roseThe Lovely Lauren rose

As reported, Lauren's family set up the production of a white rose as a memorial to her through the World of Roses nursery.

The 'Lovely Lauren Rose' can be purchased from their website worldofroses.com/product/13450/lovely-lauren-rose.

The delicate floribunda rose with masses of white flowers can also be ordered potted or gift wrapped as a present.

World of Roses will donate £2.50 from each sale to Cruse Bereavement Care. To date 85 roses have been sold.