FRIENDS recently took part in a poignant walking challenge to celebrate the memory of a 17-year-old girl from Leonard Stanley. 

Ruby Cole - who died of a cardiac arrest in March of this year - has been described as the “sweetest” and most “kindest girl” by her close friends.

The fundraiser involved a group of Ruby’s loved ones who walked 18 miles in honour of Ruby’s 18th birthday this month.

So far, the group has raised more than £13,300 for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, whose team helped give Ruby the “best chance of survival”. 

The walk on Saturday, June 1 included various stop-off points including Ruby’s school Hartpury College, her old place of work Spinavita, her boyfriend’s house and her home.

The group included Ruby’s three friends Jessica Geelhoed, Annie Selwyn and Rachel James.

They said in a joint statement: “We have seen the impact that GWAAC can make in giving someone every last chance and we now know how much it costs for just one mission. 

“We hadn’t realised GWAAC was a charity and that every £2,000 we can raise is potentially saving someone else’s child. 

“And whilst our target is to raise £12,000 every little bit you can give makes a difference. 

“Even just £1 can buy an oxygen mask that may save a baby’s life.”

Ruby’s mum Jo said: “We are extremely proud that they are channelling their grief into something that has a positive outcome for others, and it is what Ruby would have wanted. 

“She would be so proud of them!”

Emma Fawcett from GWAAC said: “We’re so grateful to Jessica, Annie, Rachel and everyone who took part in the walk for Ruby, for their support of GWAAC. 

“Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and the money raised will help us to provide critical care to those who need it the most.”

The fundraising page reads: "One of our closest friends Ruby was taken too soon.

"She was the sweetest, most kindest girl, with the biggest heart.

"She will be missed deeply and will forever be a missing part of our lives.

"Thanks to the air ambulance service Ruby was given the best chance of survival."

You can donate to the fundraiser here -