Nicola Sturgeon: First Minister pays tribute to young Scots charity worker who died suddenly

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to a young charity worker who died suddently after falling ill on a Scottish beach earlier this month.

Aylesha Meades collapsed on St Ninian’s beach near Lerwick, Shetland, on Saturday, July 10.

She died in hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning.

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The 25-year-old mother-of-one had worked for the award-winning charity Who Cares? Scotland, where she supported children and young people who had experience of life in the care system.

Ms Meades’ family attended a private funeral service at St Columba’s Church, Lerwick, on Saturday morning.

Taking to Twitter, Ms Sturgeon told her followers: “Aylesha will be missed by many. Her life was way too short but she made a difference.

“My thoughts are with the care community and everyone who loved her.”

Louise Hunter, Chief Executive of Who Cares? Scotland, wrote: “I’m deeply saddened by the loss of an incredible young woman.

Aylesha Meades collapsed on St Ninian’s beach near Lerwick, Shetland, on Saturday, July 10. (Credit: Facebook)

“Aylesha fought hard for the rights of care experienced people and her legacy lives on.”

In a separate statement, a spokesperson for the charity said: “Today we say goodbye to one of our own. Aylesha was a passionate campaigner for the rights of care experienced people in the Shetland Islands and across Scotland.

“She was an incredible, loving person and a wonderful mother to Aydon. She was fiercely loyal and worked tirelessly to create a better world for those who came after her.”

They added: “She will live on in our hearts and in our work. We love you Aylesha.”

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