STAFF and pupils at Wallyford Primary School are trying to come to terms with the loss of a much-loved member of staff who died suddenly following a brain haemorrhage.

Mum-of-two Stacey Johnstone was a behaviour support officer in the school’s Rainbow Room since it was established in 2011, working alongside children who needed from additional emotional and social support.

She passed away on Saturday, October 19, at her home in Musselburgh at the age of 39.

A funeral service will be held at Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh, at 11am next Tuesday (November 12). All welcome.  Her family has requested that everyone wears one colourful item, for example a necklace or a tie, in tribute to the fact Stacey worked in the Rainbow Room.

The school’s headteacher Mhairi Stratton paid tribute to Stacey, whose “energy, compassion and love of children” made her ideal for her role at the school.

She said: “Stacey was much-loved by the Rainbow Room children and their families, and by the whole school community.

“Children will especially miss her light-hearted and energetic tactics that never failed to produce a smile.

“She would speak to every child she passed and, if they were sad, would try to make them laugh.

“Her catchphrase was: ‘Let’s turn that frown upside down.’ We will all miss her deeply.”

Stacey lived in Musselburgh within the school catchment area and was a well-known figure in the Wallyford community.

She helped the school’s children run the community cafe, was a respite carer for children with additional needs and enjoyed taking part in community gatherings.

She was a mum to two daughters: Jade, 19, and Payton, 18 months.

When the school shared the news of Stacey’s passing, it opened its doors to the community and a large number of people gathered to share their memories of her and comfort each other.

The school has been working with the council to support children within the Rainbow Room and across the school community, and to help grieving staff.

Councillor Shamin Akhtar, East Lothian Council’s cabinet member for education and children’s services, said: “We were all absolutely devastated to learn of Stacey’s passing.

“Our thoughts are with Stacey’s daughters Jade and Payton and her family and friends.

“Wallyford is a close community and there has been a lot of support shown to the school and children as they grieve for a much-loved team member.”