A star for Maisie on her home village’s Christmas tree

Maisie's mum, Helen Cousin, sister Amy (left) and brother Oliver Cousin-Stirk with the star.
Maisie's mum, Helen Cousin, sister Amy (left) and brother Oliver Cousin-Stirk with the star.

The grieving family of a Misterton schoolgirl who took her own life have donated a star for the Christmas tree in her home village.

Maisie Cousin-Stirk was just 16 when she was found hanged in a secluded spot in woodland off Green Lane, Misterton in June.

She had just completed her GCSEs and was described as “asn outstanding student” who had achieved “academic excellence”.

Now the memory of her life will shine brightly via the star which will adorn the Misterton Parish Council tree at Jubilee Garden.

“The support we received from people in the village when Maisie died was absolutely tremendous,” said her mum, 46-year-old teaching assistant Helen Cousin. “It helped us get through this terrible trauma.

“Because Maisie was such a star, we thought it would be a good way to say thankyou to everybody by giving a star for the parish council’s tree, which is in a prominent place in the village.”

Maisie’s brother, 12-year-old Oliver, also switched on the village’s Christmas lights at Church Meadow and Windmill Garden earlier this month. This was in his capacity as the parish council’s junior citizen of the year, an accolade he won after helping a resident who had fallen in the street and staying with her until the emergency services arrived.

Both Oliver and mum Helen also selected the winning tree in the council’s Christmas Tree Festival.

Part of the proceeds from the Christmas lights switch-on will go to the charity, Help Me, I’m Fine, which was set up by Helen and Maisie’s dad, Michael Stirk, after her death. Its title is based on a cryptic message that was found in Maisie’s bedroom, and its aim is to help educate teachers and youth leaders on the signs of depression and possible suicide among young people.

It is believed that Maisie was suffering from depression, although the Assistant Coroner at her inquest said her death could not have been predicted or prevented.