Rotherham school in moving tribute to former student

The Brinsworth Academy community have pulled together to raise over £2,500 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in a touching tribute to former student Nathan Howson who died suddenly last year.

Nathan, who was known for his kindness, generous spirit and love of animals, died last summer following a bleed on his brain. The previously healthy 15-year-old underwent emergency surgery and other medical treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, but the damage to his brain was extensive and he passed away shortly after falling ill.

Nathan, from Rotherham, was then moved to Bluebell Wood where his family were able to spend their final precious moments together in the hospice’s peaceful surroundings.

His legacy of kindness continues after his death, with the teenager helping to change the lives of six other people through organ donation.

Now, to honour their former classmate who friends described as having a “heart of gold”, the Year 11 group at Brinsworth Academy are raising funds for the place he spent his final moments.

Richard Travis, Nathan’s science teacher and Head of Year 11 at Brinsworth Academy, said helping to organise the fundraiser has been a “emotional and humbling” experience

“Nathan really was a lovely young man and was very well-liked by everyone who knew him at Brinsworth Academy,” said Richard.

“Obviously it came as a real shock to us all and, because of the way things were at the school in terms of the restrictions, we didn’t really have the chance to mourn together as a group.

“So that’s why we all really wanted to do something to pay tribute to Nathan and raise funds for Bluebell Wood, which came at the suggestion of his mum, Donna.

“The students discussed it and, mindful of the latest restrictions, decided to do a sponsored walk which everyone could talk part in as part of their daily exercise.

“Nathan was a very family orientated, good natured young man and a winter walk seemed very apt.

“The year group as a whole, and particularly members of his form, were heavily impacted by his death and they have responded fantastically.

“In many ways his passing has brought people together and there has been a real sense of community cohesion.

“All in all we’re incredibly proud of everyone and how they’ve stepped up and contributed in what we know are very uncertain times.

“These wonderful gestures really do demonstrate what we have in our community.”

Nathan’s classmates and school staff have so far raised £2,648 for Bluebell Wood, with donations still coming in from the many classmates, friends and school staff who took on the challenge in his memory.

Anna Gott, Regional Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood, said: “It’s very clear that Nathan was a remarkable young man whose loss is felt deeply by those who knew and loved him.

“Here at Bluebell Wood we do everything in our power to be there for families facing the utter devastation of losing a child, and it was an honour to be able to give Nathan’s family the chance to make memories they will always carry with them.

“So it was incredibly kind of Nathan’s family to suggest supporting Bluebell Wood through this inspirational challenge in his memory.

“It really has been a phenomenal effort by all involved and everyone should be incredibly proud of what they’ve helped achieve in the most difficult of circumstances.

“Thanks to your support and kindness we can continue to be there for local families when they need us the most.”

You can read more about Nathan and his legacy here

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