Tributes paid to “inspiring” and “promising” Cardiff student Bethan James, who died at the weekend.

Bethan on a video on her YouTube channel

Journalism students at the University of South Wales have been paying tribute to their course mate Bethan James who died suddenly at the weekend.

Dan Moffat, also a final year journalism student said: “Beth was an absolute star and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”

Another of Bethan’s friends, Abbie Clement, said: “Every memory I have of Bethan she had a smile on her face. She was one of the happiest people I’ve ever met.

“Her confidence and bravery was inspiring and I will remember her forever. I’m grateful I could call her a friend”

Coursemate Emilie Kjellerup said: “Beth was a lovely girl and a dear friend of mine. She lit up the room with her beautiful smile and ever positive mood. I’ll miss you”

Bethan presenting a student news bulletin with coursemate Tomos Salmon

Another uni friend Molly Gasson said: “Bethan was someone who was a constant light in our lives. We had so many moments where we lifted each other up through times of stress and I knew I could always talk to her if I needed to.

“Her positivity is one that will be missed and thought of everyday. She will forever be in my heart.”

Will Gaunt, also in Bethan’s year, said, “Bethan was always so kind and considerate to everyone.

“She always had a smile on her face and got along with every person she met.

“We’re all so devastated and we’ll miss her dearly.”

The students have written a personal letter to Bethan and her family.

Course leader Craig Hooper said: “Bethan was a lovely person. She was very popular on the course and had a promising journalism career ahead of her. 

“She’ll be greatly missed on the course, not only by her fellow students but by staff as well.”

Bethan with her university friends

Bethan was in the final year of her degree.  She was working on her major project – a documentary on her personal experience of being diagnosed last year with Crohn’s disease.  She was also in talks with BBC Wales who were interested in producing a radio documentary on her story.

She also discussed her diagnosis on her YouTube channel. She spoke about how the condition had changed her life, the pain she had suffered, and she said she wanted to raise awareness.

Her father, former England cricketer Steve James, announced her death on Twitter.  He said: “We have the most indescribably devastating news that our beautiful daughter Bethan suddenly passed away on Saturday evening.

“Our hearts are broken.  She was the most wonderfully caring and kind daughter and sister to Rhys.”

Hundreds of people responded on social media, offering their sympathy. 

USW Technical Instructor Peter Lambern sent condolences to the family, adding: “So sorry to hear this, I’m absolutely devastated.”

The BA Journalism course account tweeted: “So sorry. We’re all devastated here at USW.”

The third years are taking a break from their academic work this week. They are meeting USW Chaplain Vaughan Rees this afternoon and have been offered counselling sessions.

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