A POPULAR young woman's bright and bubbly personality was celebrated by hundreds of people at her funeral.

Mourners dressed in bright colours packed into Distington Hall Crematorium yesterday to mark the life of Nicola Wilson who died almost two weeks ago.

The 26-year-old, of Great Clifton, near Workington was carried in to Dani and Lizzy's 'Dancing in the Sky' and during the service, was described as a live wire who always put others first.

A eulogy was read by Reverend Sudharshan Sarvananthan, on behalf of the family.

He said: "Nicola would never sit still - she had to be doing something all the time.

"According to family and friends, she was a live wire - bright bubbly and generous.

"She always put others before her. She didn't like to leave anyone stranded without being able to get home after a night out. Nicola had brought people home who couldn't get a taxi.

"She was a sociable person who always loved being around people. Nicola loved to party - too much at times - according to her Grandma.

"As all of you know, she was a lesbian - her sexuality is part of who she was. All those close to her accepted her and loved her as she was."

There were laughs from the congregation as Rev Sarvananthan said she would "regularly pinch her dad's aftershave".

Nicola grew up in Great Clifton, attending Derwent Vale Primary School and then Stainburn School. She died on October 23, eight days before her 27th birthday.

After leaving school she worked in Wetherspoons and later the Bounty pub in Workington. Nicola had spent the last few years working in the Entertainer toy shop - a job she loved because she got to interact with children. She "cherished" seeing them leave with a smile.

Nicola played rugby with the Workington Zebra Finches. She used to go training with her dad at Clifton Rugby Club when she was little, but as a girl, could no longer play for the team once she was 11.

Rev Sarvananthan said Nicola would tell her dad, 'I wish I was a lad so I could give all these lads a run for their money!'

As mourners left the crematorium, one of Nicola's favourite songs, 'Penny Arcade' was played - a song she would dance to with her grandma.

She leaves behind mother Julie, father Ian and sister Carly, 30.

Donations were made to Mind West Cumbria, which Nicola loved doing charity work for. She had planned to do a sponsored head shave to raise money for the organisation after Christmas.

Dr Brian Campbell, chairman of Mind in West Cumbria, said: "Mind in West Cumbria were privileged to walk alongside Nic over many months and were delighted that she had taken real steps towards finding internal peace.

"It was such a blessing to have known her. Her thoughts and efforts were always to help others. What a tragic loss this is to her family and our whole local community. She will be forever remembered."