A FUNDRAISING night is to be held in Redditch to celebrate the life of a popular town teenager who died earlier this year.
Richard Fellows, aged 15, known as Porky, got into trouble while swimming with friends at the weir at Arrow Valley Park in Redditch. He was rescued by emergency services but despite their best efforts, he died.
A Prom for Porky is to be held at Area night club in Redditch on Wednesday, July 30, not only as a way of people celebrating Richard's life, but also to raise funds for the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and to fund Porky's Playscheme through Batchley Support Group.
There will be two sessions to the event. Firstly, those under 18, along with their parents, are invited to come along and enjoy the fun from 6-10pm.
Then from 11pm until the early hours, those over 18 are invited to come and party for the good cause.
There will be a photobooth, face and body painters, a sweet stall, cosplayers, a singer and raffles.
The dress code is 'Promfabulous' for women and girls, and 'James Bond Cool' for the men and boys.
Chantalle Aston, Richard's sister, who is one of the event organisers, said: "We hope this will be a night to remember and a celebration of a young life."
Tickets costing £5 are available from theticketsellers.co.uk.
The start of the school holidays and the warmer summer weather have prompted a warning from West Mercia Police about the dangers of open water.
Every summer police receive calls about people getting into difficulty while swimming in reservoirs, pools, lakes, quarries and canals.
In July last year there were three open water deaths within the space of a week in West Mercia. Two were in the Malvern Hills and the other in Bridgnorth. Then in March, Richard tragically lost his life at Arrow Valley.
The RLSS says 85 per cent of accidental drownings happen in open water, often due to lack of understanding or awareness of the dangers.
Superintendent Mark Travis said: “It might be very inviting in warm weather but swimming in unauthorised and unsupervised stretches of river or other open water is fraught with danger. The deaths we have experienced locally over the past year are a stark illustration of just how hazardous it can be.
“While those dangers are ever-present we are keen to highlight it now that the schools are breaking up for summer and children will have more time on their hands. A hot spell usually results in some youngsters making a beeline for stretches of open water and they need to be aware of the risks.
“It is often impossible to gauge the depths of these waters and the strength of currents. Where water levels are unknown, jumping or diving in can cause serious injury or drowning, especially if there are submerged rocks, weeds or other debris.
“We don’t want to appear to be killjoys but people need to be encouraged to stay safe – we really don’t want any more fatalities.
“Unless there is adequate supervision and rescue cover our advice would be not to get into open water in the first place and if you need to cool off head for a public swimming pool instead.”
For further information, visit westmercia.police.uk and look at the Personal Safety section in the Advice Centre.