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SIAN O'CALLAGHAN: Sian's Grieving mum overwhelmed by the sense of community and support in the wake of her daughter's murder
10:28am Thursday 31st March 2011 in News
THE support shown by people across Swindon in the wake of Sian’s disappearance came a huge shock to Elaine.
She was stunned by television footage of hundreds of people arriving at Savernake Forest to help look for her daughter in the early days of the missing persons investigation.
“I could not believe what I was watching on TV,” she said.
“I was thinking ‘is that all for Sian?’ It shocked me but it was comforting knowing that so many people were trying to help.
“When I heard about the buses going up to the forest I couldn’t believe it. It gave me hope because the community was helping so much.
“I thought someone was going to find something. That was comforting.
“I was thinking ‘is that all for Sian?’ It shocked me but it was comforting knowing that so many people were trying to help.''- Elaine O'Callaghan Sian's mother
“I remember saying how not everybody may have created that response and it said to me a lot about Sian herself and how highly she was thought of. It makes me feel really proud of her.
“It’s shown that Swindon is a lot closer than I thought it was. I’ve always thought of Swindon as a soulless town.
“I’ve lived here all my life and did not feel that sense of community. That’s why it surprised me – I never thought of it like that until now.”
The customer service administrator said the family had visited the graffiti murals painted in Sian’s memory and also looked at the messages of condolence on social networking sites such as Facebook.
“We have been to all the graffiti art and think it is absolutely amazing. And we have seen all the lovely tributes on the Facebook site.
“We wanted to see the flowers outside Suju and for me the candles were the nicest part.”
Elaine also thanked her employer for giving her the time off to grieve and said the whole family had been extended the same by their companies.
Tributes to Sian are likely to continue over the next few weeks, although Elaine said plans for a permanent memorial had not been decided on yet.
Swindon Town FC are going to be holding a one minute silence at their home game against Hartlepool this Saturday and a statement from the family will be read out over the tannoy.
It will say: “We would like to express our sincere thanks for the support from the whole community of Swindon, which has been overwhelming and has helped us through such a difficult time.
“In the days ahead we can rely on your continued support and respect for Sian and our privacy.
“Sian herself would be truly moved beyond words at the response and outpouring of love from everyone.”