A community came together this week in remembrance, but also in celebration, of its fundraising efforts nearly a year after the death of a much-loved teenager.
The tragic death of Arran Tosh only days after it was found he had a brain tumour has united children and adults alike in both Sudbury, where Arran lived with his family, and in Sible Hedingham, where Arran went to school.
On Tuesday, staff, pupils and members of the public gathered at Hedingham School and Sixth Form to see a cheque of £2,611 handed over to Arran’s mother, Alison, and hear about the fundraising efforts that had taken place in the last 11 months in memory of a quite remarkable 13-year-old.
“It is amazing what our students and their families have done this year in memory of Arran,” said headteacher John Panayi.
“They have been involved in a huge array of activities and I am very proud of the compassion and thoughtfulness they have shown in such difficult and sad circumstances.”
Arran was praised for his selfless attitude, his charity work, including busking for local charities, helping to fund visits to Lourdes for sick children and raising money for Cancer Research UK.
In the 11 months since his death, friends, family and fellow pupils have taken on Arran’s spirit of giving, organising a number of activities to raise money for the Smile of Arran trust set up in his name.
Mr Panayi said: “There are so many students in the school who have wanted to commemorate his life. This says a lot about the impact he had on those who had the privilege to know him.”
A fellow pupil at the school, Charlie Coy, 12, came up with the idea of wristbands being sold to raise funds.
The bands, coloured green as Arran was a avid Celtic supporter, cost £2. It is hoped that, with the trust gaining charity status, the bands will now be sold in shops in the area.
In tribute to Arran, who would busk with friends Toby Halls and Joe Snell, Joe’s mother Alli Burke has organised The Big Busk, with a number of artists performing outside the Cancer Research shop in Sudbury on May 30, between 11am and 3pm.