‘She was like the song you want on repeat’: Balloons to remember much-loved County Durham woman Natalie Marshall

Ahead of a special balloon release in her memory, friends and family of Natalie Marshall – who died in a car crash on the A167 near Darlington last week – have paid tribute to a “bold and brilliant young woman”.

Friends including Shannon Murray are collecting donations in aid of Natalie’s younger sisters Shannon and Corrina – who she cared for – while also planning new ways to pay tribute to a much-loved member of the community in St Helen Auckland, County Durham. Natalie’s dad Alex Coleman said his daughter de ella was “much-loved” and would be “sadly missed”, adding that he would “love her always”.

And elder sister Chloe Coleman echoed this. She said: “You were always there when I needed you, you will always be with me whenever I go and I know you will guide me in the right direction in this life. I’ll never forget all the memories we have made growing up and I will always feel privileged to have been your big sister.”

Read more: ‘She would light up a room’: Heartbroken family pay tribute to ‘selfless’ woman who died in Darlington crash

Natalie, 25 was driving a Mercedes C Class when it left the road and collided with a tree on the A167 near Coatham Mundeville in the early hours of Friday morning. Her passenger de ella was taken to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough with serious injuries.

Shannon Murray, one of a close-knit group of Natalie’s friends called The Gals – also including Emily Robson, Kirsty Rickaby and Megan Newcombe, shared a message from them all. It said: “You light up everyone’s life with your presence. You were the life and soul of the party, there was no one like you and there never will be. You will be sadly missed and there is only one Natalie Marshall.”

Natalie Marshall with sister Chloe Coleman, Emily Robson and Shannon Murray

Speaking to ChronicleLive, Shannon said friends and family were “still all numb.” She said: “You never expect to be planning your best friend’s funeral – at least not at this age. She looked after her sisters and we just want to make sure that they’re provided for. Natalie would never have wanted them to worry and we are trying to make sure we can give them what she would have.

“There are so many reasons she was so special. She was bold with an infectious laugh. She was selfless and would do anything for anybody. She was just exactly the sort of person you would want in your life – if you were down she’ d be the one to pick you up. As a person she was like the song you want to listen to on repeat.”

On Friday (June 24) there will be a balloon release in Natalie’s honor – with proceeds and donations going towards Natalie’s younger sisters. But Shannon emphasized how important all of those who loved Natalie felt it was to find more ways to commemorate her. Natalie worked in sales at a local EE store.

And Hannah Bellwood, another close friend who lived nearby to Natalie, continued: “She was a brilliant person with a heart of gold and she would never let anyone else struggle. It’s been such a shock – you never expect it do you? We want to pay tribute to her and raise as much money for her sisters. She looked after them both from being really young. This is the community just wanting to come together for her.”

The balloon release will take place between 6 and 7pm at the St Helen Auckland skatepark. Loved ones are asked to wear sunglasses to the event, and there will also be music in Natalie’s honor of her.

To donate to the crowdfunding drive for Natalie’s younger sisters, see gofundme.com/f/help-for-the-marshall-sisters. Donations are also being collected through the balloon release, at the Eden Arms and shops Beauty and the Beach and Alyssa Howe.



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