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Tributes to 'vibrant and caring' woman (29) who died in woods near Highland capital as mourners invited to give donations to mental health charity Mikeysline and bereavement support service the Crocus Group

By Val Sweeney

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Sarah-Jane England.
Sarah-Jane England.

Hundreds of pounds have been raised for two charities in memory of a woman following her unexpected death aged 29.

Sarah-Jane England – otherwise known as SJ – died earlier this month in a wooded area near the city’s rail track where she liked to walk.

Her family recalled her as a vibrant, caring person who in her youth had been a champion disco dancer, talented gymnast and member of Inverness Gymnastics Club and had appeared in the pantomime at the city’s Eden Court Theatre.

Mourners at her funeral service were invited to give donations to the mental health charity Mikeysline and the Crocus Group, a bereavement support service for children and young people living in the Highlands.

Although hundreds of pounds have been raised so far, the total is expected to be much higher.

Miss England, who lived in Woodside Crescent, Scorguie, leaves her mother Lynn, brother Nick and sister Katie.

Her father, Gary England, died in 2016.

Miss England’s mother said: “She was definitely a vibrant, happy person but we have suffered a lot of sudden deaths in the family including her father five years ago.”

This had led to chronic anxiety.

She continued: “She was a very caring person. She loved everyone.

“When you love deeply, you lose deeply.”

Mr England remembered a sister whose passion was dancing and music and who was kind-hearted.

“She would give anyone anything,” he said.

“She would give you the jacket off her back.

“She always had a smile and an infectious laugh.”

One of her passions was disco dancing and when she was seven, she became a British disco dancing champion.

She also appeared in the pantomime at Eden Court Theatre as a dancer three years running.

“Her whole soul was dancing and music,” Mr England said.

As a teenager, she was a keen member of the Inverness Gymnastics Club and part of the north of Scotland squad.

In a post on social media, the club said it was saddened to hear of the passing of one of its former gymnasts.

“A number of our current coaches trained alongside Sarah Jane when they were younger and remember her fondly as a dedicated and naturally talented gymnast,” stated a club spokesman.

“Our thoughts are with Lynn, Nick, Katie and the rest of her family and friends at this sad time.”

Miss England, a former pupil of Charleston Academy, worked in the café at Inverness Leisure after leaving school and later at the Royal Mail sorting office.

Heartfelt tributes were posted online by many who knew her.

One said: “A beautiful girl with a beautiful heart. A humour that will never be forgotten.”

Another reflected: “One of the most selfless beautiful souls you could meet.”

Her funeral service will be held at William T Fraser and Son.

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