Bench to remember teenage fund-raiser

By Connie Osborne Friday 17 January 2014 Updated: 17/01 09:56

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Buy photos » A memorial bench will be installed in memory of Craig Prentice. (s)

A MEMORIAL bench will be installed in the town to honour a teenage fund-raiser who passed away last month.

Craig Prentice lost his life on December 10 from a cardiac arrest, just three years after his sister Charlotte died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.

The 17-year-old former Arrow Vale student was dedicated to helping his parents Robert and Maggie Underwood raise thousands of pounds for defibrillators to be installed in schools and public places across the borough as part of the Redditch Heart Safe campaign, created in Charlotte's memory.

Redditch Borough Council has quoted £1,000 for the bench which included the cost of installing it, completing health and safety specifications and ongoing maintenance.

Fellow students as well as friends of Craig have held fund-raising events such as cake sales to cover £500 of the cost towards the bench, while Coun Joe Baker who represents Arrow Valley East on Worcestershire County Council has donated another £500 from his divisional funds, used by councillors to benefit community projects.

It is hoped it can be placed in the green space near the pond off Green Sward Lane in Matchborough.

Coun Baker said: "The family have worked tirelessly for Redditch Heart Safe as well as the community. The bench would be a good way of raising awareness of the hard work, as well as the charity, and remembering Craig.

"It would be a place where people could go for remembrance and contemplation, and I think it would be a good way for the community to say thank you for all the work Craig and the family have done to help us."

Mr Underwood said: "For friends of Craig to go out and raise £500 by themselves is truly amazing.

"It is overwhelming that Coun Baker has chosen to do this and be so generous. It really has touched the family, it is such a wonderful thing to do."

John Godwin, head of leisure for Redditch Borough Council, said the land suggested appeared to be open public space which the council managed and were happy to support the idea.

"All that remains is to confirm the details of the installation as the council will be responsible for maintaining this memorial moving forward, and we want to ensure it is there for years to come."

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