INSPIRATIONAL campaigner Sylvia Lancaster has been laid to rest in the same cemetery as her daughter Sophie following an emotional service this afternoon.

Guests were asked to wear pink during the ceremony which was held at The Ashcroft in Whitworth.

Dr Sylvia Lancaster OBE died suddenly on Tuesday 12 April in Blackburn hospital.

The heartbroken mother set up the Sophie Lancaster foundation after her daughter’s shocking murder in 2007, targeted due to being a member of the goth sub-culture.

She has made a difference to thousands of people's lives with her campaign work and the educational sessions she delivered in schools on hate crime.

The funeral was live cast on the Sophie Lancaster Foundation social media channels.

Tributes were paid by people who knew Sylvia, 69, and those who had been inspired by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and the invaluable work the organisation continues to do.

Following the service, guests walked behind the hearse as it made its way towards Whitworth Cemetery. Residents and shop owners came on to the streets as the cortège headed towards Edward Street.

At the ceremony, eulogies were read out by friends with messages received from Pat Fogarty and Darren Goddard.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Odette Benatar who knew Sylvia for more than thirty years, described the moment she first went met Sylvia outside the school gates.

Later, visiting her home for the first time, she said: “I remember going around to Sylvia’s for the first time for a coffee. She had so many pictures of Sophie adorning the walls.

“As Sophie grew up, Sylvia became more and more proud of her.”

Odette told of Sylvia’s determination to gain qualifications later in life: “She wanted to help young people.

"She gave so much to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Sylvia was described a very private person who was at odds with the public persona during the moments of grief.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Odette said: “I feel honoured that I was able to be there for her during those dark times and since.

“Through the years people would marvel at Sylvia’s strength and purpose. Her dignity and the constant retelling of Sophie’s story. He kindness and candour.

“That was Sylvia. Forever known as Sophie’s mum.

“I saw her as my friend. My mate and I saw what others didn’t.

“She used to say that if for her to forgive was to say that’s okay then.

“The Foundation was her retribution. For everyone touched by Sophie’s story, moved to think about their own actions and opinions.”

Sylvia’s assistant Stacey Davidson and Mike Ainsworth also spoke about how Sylvia’s work would go on to touch so many.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Black Roses, a poetic sequence written for a BBC Radio 4 docu-drama by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, weaves the voice of Sophie Lancaster with that of her mother Sylvia.

In 2012, Black Roses transferred from radio to theatre, and opened as a stage play at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, where it again won critical acclaim and awards. It was then produced as a BBC film.

Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh said of Sylvia: “She was so many things. She was very hard to read.

“She was generous, kind and funny and as fierce, smart and uncompromising.

“It was a privilege to know her. It was a privilege to play her.

“All of us who were involved in the play are bound together forever.

“Black Roses is just one part of Sylvia’s legacy

“The legacy of turning the unimaginable horror to something meaningful and world changing.

“Sylvia your life and your love burn on.

“Thank you for the lives you lit and the love you spread. We will never forget Sophie and we will never forget you.”

You can still watch the full service here