A place to sit and remember Craig

By Connie Osborne Friday 04 April 2014 Updated: 04/04 09:28

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Buy photos » Maggie and Mitchell Underwood, three, unveil the memorial bench with Robert Underwood (left) and Carrick Prentice, 15, and Craig’s friends and fellow students. Picture by Ian Dipple (s).

A MEMORIAL bench to honour a fund-raising teenager has been installed at one of his favourite spots in the town.

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

The 17-year-old former Arrow Vale student was dedicated to raising thousands of pounds for defibrillators to be installed in schools across the borough as part of the Redditch Heart Safe campaign, created by his parents in memory of Charlotte.

The bench, which has been placed in green space near Matchborough centre, was installed by Redditch Borough Council and cost a total of £1,000 which was part funded by fellow students and friends, who held events such as cake sales. A bin with his nickname Hench on it has also been put in place.

Coun Joe Baker, who represents Arrow Valley East on Worcestershire County Council, donated the other £500 from his divisional funds which are used by councillors for community schemes.

Craig's father, Robert Underwood, said he wanted to give his heartfelt thanks to Coun Joe Baker for his kind support, as well as Debbie Wicket and all of Craig's friends who helped raised the money.

"The love and support you have shown us means the world to us. We hope you enjoy sitting on it and having many great memories to sit and talk about," he said.

"You have done your best friend very proud in what you have achieved and we all are proud of you all."

He added he also wanted to thank Wayne Beard from Redditch Borough Council, W D Ornamental Ironwork and RSTS which have all helped with the project.

Coun Baker said he was honoured to be able to help fund the bench.

"It is a fitting memorial for the family and I hope it will bring awareness of the cause the Underwood's tirelessly put forward," he said.

"It would be a private extension for the town and county for people to reflect on Craig's life but also others who have suffered from similar conditions."

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