Family, friends and teachers of a boy who passed away last year have dedicated a garden to him in a touching tribute.

The Northern Echo: Luke Thomas, 5

Luke Thomas, 5, fell ill in Autumn 2022 after developing a “fast-spreading” rash and was later diagnosed with vasculitis.

Shortly after this, the boy's condition deteriorated and he was rushed to hospital where he passed away in January last year.

Now Luke’s former classmates, family and teachers have gathered to establish a memorial garden on the grounds of his former school - Caldicotes Primary Academy, in Middlesbrough.

The Northern Echo: L-R:  Luke’s mother Courtney Thomas, granddad Andrew Hoggard, nana Sarah Thomas holding his

Pupils donned multicoloured clothing to create a rainbow effect and sang in tribute of the popular pupil who excelled at school.

Helen Steele, principal at Caldicotes Primary Academy, said: “After consulting with the community, we decided to develop an area of our grounds into a memorial garden to dedicate to Luke.

“As winter turns to spring, we look forward to developing the blank canvas by planting an array of flowers, trees and shrubs and installing trellis and raised beds.

“Our pupils have already begun to individually paint rocks that will form the border of the garden’s path.

“All of this will ensure the space truly reflects Luke’s vibrancy, energy and enthusiasm.”

The Northern Echo: Whole school sing 'The Rainbow song' in memory of Luke complete with Makaton signing actions

Vasculitis is a group of conditions that cause the immune system to attack healthy blood vessels, causing them to become swollen and narrow.

Those preparing the garden cleared and prepared the dedicated space by removing trees, bushes, and debris.

Local businesses, such as the Scott Bros from Haverton Hill, supported the business.

The Northern Echo: The whole school takes part in a service of dedication for the Luke’s memorial garden, attended

The local firm aided the initiative by providing a free skip service for swift area clearance, while blacksmith Adrian Wood crafted an archway for the garden entrance.

Countrywide Ground Maintenance and Thirteen, the social housing provider, also played crucial roles in the clearing process.

Peter Scott, managing director at Scott Bros, said: “We are honoured to have played a small part in what has been a fantastic effort to create this very special space that is a celebration and fitting tribute to Luke.”