Over 1,000 people gather at one-year memorial vigil for trans teenager Brianna Ghey

Brianna's mother Esther delivered a moving speech, advising parents to "hug your children tight and never stop telling them that you love them."

Side by side photos of Brianna Ghey's mother and the crowd gathered at the memorial in Brianna's memory

On Sunday, February 11, over 1,000 people gathered in Golden Square Shopping Centre in Warrington for a memorial honouring Brianna Ghey and marking one year since the transgender teenager was killed.

During the vigil, Brianna Ghey’s mother, Esther, delivered a moving tribute to her daughter, telling the crowd, “I will be forever thankful I was lucky enough to spend 16 years with her.”

She added, “If there’s one piece of advice that I can give to any parent, it would be to hug your children tight and never stop telling them that you love them. I hope that, wherever she is now, she can feel the love that we’ve created by joining together today.”


Brianna’s headteacher at Birchwood Community High School, Emma Mills, also spoke during the memorial. She described Brianna as, “hilarious, sharp and unapologetically herself, always speaking her mind, and that was whether you wanted to hear it or not. None of us were immune from her sarcasm, her wit and her candour.”

Mills encouraged the crowd to honour Brianna’s memory by being true to themselves, saying, “Societal pressure to conform is very real, for all of us, but the level of pressure as a teenager amongst your peers can be so intense.”

She added, “Brianna knew who she was, and she was determined to be true to that. This determination spirit is something that I always admired about Brianna, and it’s a deserving legacy for us to remember her by.”

The vigil concluded with two minutes of silence, followed by Brianna’s friends sharing stories and memories about her.

One friend, Emily, named all the milestones the two should have celebrated together this year including turning 17 and attending their school prom. Emily said, “We all know you would have worn the pinkest, sparkliest dress ever.”


On February 11, 2023, 16-year-old Ghey was attacked and murdered by teenagers Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe in Culcheth Linear Park in Cheshire, England. The offending 16-year-olds were sentenced to 20 and 22 years in prison for an “exceptionally brutal” murder which included elements of sadism and transphobic hate.

Since Brianna’s death, her mother has worked to create meaningful change to honour her daughter’s legacy and has called on Parliament to include mindfulness in the national school curriculum.

She developed a mental health fundraiser called ‘Brianna Ghey: Peace in Mind’ to support teens with mental health struggles and create a more empathic society. The programme aims to empower teens to build mental resistance, empathy, and self-compassion through mindfulness.


When talking about the Mindfulness in Schools Project she said, “The traumatic impact that this had on my family was so enormous, that I decided to help make a difference to our society to reduce the risk of this happening again to another young person.”

Brianna’s mother has also called for legislation to limit and flag potentially harmful or violent social media content for under-16s after learning that Scarlett Jenkinson, who killed Brianna, had watched videos of violence and torture online.


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