Rothesay bench for locals to remember Alesha MacPhail

The Isle of Bute Resillience Team at the bench in memory of Alesha MacPhail, situated at Children's Corner, Rothesay.
The Isle of Bute Resillience Team at the bench in memory of Alesha MacPhail, situated at Children's Corner, Rothesay.

A bench in memory of tragic six-year-old girl Alesha MacPhail was unveiled at Children’s Corner on Rothesay Promenade last Saturday.

The pink bench was purchased by the Isle of Bute Resillience Group following an online fundraiser which raised an impressive £2,000 in around a fortnight.

Fiona Gillespie from the group, explained why it is so important to have this bench.

She said: “We wanted somewhere that everybody in Bute can go to where they can remember Alesha. It’s important for the community.

“The support for this was overwhelming from everyone on the island –to raise that amount of money so quickly.”

A blessing ceremony was held featuring a piper, bubble machines and balloons.

Rev Owen Jones led a short service in which he said: “We come to remember Alesha and to support and uphold her family, and all those who have been at the centre of the events, the pain and the loss in which she was taken from us.”

Alesha’s family were in attendance on Saturday, with Robert MacPhail and his partner Toni McLachlan unveiling the bench. Fiona added: “I kept them in the loop the whole way through. There was nothing happening that they didn’t know about. It meant the world to me that Robert and Tony unveiled the bench. It was a very emotional day.

“I just want to thank my team for being behind Colin (Fiona’s husband) and I to get the bench organised. And I want to thank the community for coming out to support us doing what we have done to remember Alesha.”

Alesha was killed by teenager Aaron Campbell in July 2018. Campbell (now 17) was convicted of the schoolgirl’s abduction, rape and murder and ordered to serve 27 years in prison. In May he was granted permission to appeal against his sentence.