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Shock at death of bubbly Rhiannon

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: August 31, 2012

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AN INSPIRATIONAL woman with a zest for life who championed the rights of people with learning disabilities.

This is how friends and colleagues of NHS employee Rhiannon Morris will remember the 27 year-old.

Rhiannon, who grew up near Bodmin, collapsed following an epileptic attack at the V Festival at Weston Park, Staffordshire, last Saturday.

She was airlifted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, where she died four days later.

Rhiannon moved to Helland from Manchester with her parents Chrissy and Andy and sister Emma when she was six years old.

She attended the special needs unit in Camelford and the Greenfield Unit at Bodmin Community College.

She later studied at Cornwall College St Austell and settled in the town seven years ago.

The news has rocked all those whose lives were touched by Rhiannon, who had mild learning disabilities.

At Copper Beeches care home in Truro Road, St Austell, where she lived, residents and staff are trying to come to terms with her death.

Hayley Walker, registered manager at Copper Beeches: "Rhiannon was a very sociable lady, fun-loving, and kind-hearted."

She was widely respected for her work in championing the rights of people with learning disabilities. She was an integral part of the Cornwall Health and Making Partnership (CHAMPS) teams, which help to improve NHS services for people with learning disabilities.

In her work she had been praised for her speaking skills and visited the Houses of Parliament to make sure the voices of the Cornish disabled community were heard.

Her CHAMPs' teammates said: "Rhiannon was great fun to work with and made us all smile. She was very caring and very good at her job. Rhiannon was our friend and we will all miss her very much."

Rhiannon loved to listen to music of all genres and to dance. Last year, she joined dance troupe Sweet Flava at an NHS event at the Eden Project.

Rhiannon was a member of the choir at St John's Church in Bodmin Road.

This year was her first trip to the V music festival. She went with her sister Emma.

In a statement to the Cornish Guardian, organisers said: "We met Rhiannon's family following the festival and were moved by what a truly caring family they are.

"It was lovely to be able to hear about what a wonderfully spirited young woman Rhiannon was."

The funeral is due to be held on September 7 in Bodmin.

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