Friends kick-off charity fund in memory of 11-year-old boy

Eight friends took part in a 10k run in memory of County High student Ethan Linwood. Over 40 members

Eight friends took part in a 10k run in memory of County High student Ethan Linwood. Over 40 members of the community turned out to cheer them on, alongside Ethan's family and firefighters at Thaxted fire station. - Credit: Archant

FRIENDS of an 11-year-old boy who died following a car crash last year have taken part in the launch of a memorial fund in his name by completing a 10k run around the village of Great Sampford.

Ethan's friends at the finish line.

Ethan's friends at the finish line. - Credit: Archant

Eight Saffron Walden County High School students were joined by the family of Ethan Linwood, the firefighters who worked to free him on the night of the accident and around 40 people in the community on Saturday.

Ethan's friends completed a 10k run.

Ethan's friends completed a 10k run. - Credit: Archant

It was the first official event to raise money for the Ethan Linwood Memorial Fund – a charitable initiative being set up by his family.

Ethan’s mum Morag told the Reporter that the fundraiser, organised solely by her son’s friends, was a fitting way to launch the fund ahead of many more events planned later this year.

“It is nice that the first event for the fund has been completely organised by Ethan’s friends, which is obviously lovely,” she said.

“They have done it off their own back and all the credit goes to those young boys for doing everything – that is quite a testament to them.”

Josh and Alfie Cole, Jacob Mnich, Harry Kelvin, Aaron Farthing, William Chappel, Adam Luey and Prince Mutswunguma finished the run in an impressive 1 hour 10 minutes and said they had their friend in their hearts to help them complete the run.

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Alfie, 14, said: “We just wanted to do something in memory of Ethan and thought this would be a good way of raising money for his memorial fund.

“Ethan was such a nice person and a great friend. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and always had a smile on his face.”

Alfie’s younger brother Josh, 11, added: “Ethan would be proud and happy that we were all remembering him in a good way and doing something positive to help others.

“The run was tiring, but we all kept on going – we were never going to give up. We had a real purpose to finish it in good time. It was worth pushing ourselves harder for Ethan.”

So far the youngsters – alongside two other friends Louis King and Adam Ivey who were unable to do the run because of illness – have raised almost £1,000 to go towards the memorial fund.

Although the finer details of how it will work are still being ironed out, Mrs Linwood said the aim was for it to help support people in the local community.

“We want the fund to benefit young people between the ages of eight and 16. It can be a single person who needs a piece of equipment like a musical instrument or perhaps medically-based such as respite care, for example.

“Ethan’s interests were so far and wide and he was involved with a lot of clubs and societies so we hope the fund can help as many people as possible.”

The Reporter revealed in November how firefighters who attended the scene of the crash between Great Sampford and Thaxted on October 3 last year were working with Ethan’s family to hold a football match in his memory.

Hopes are high that former professional footballers and celebrities – including stars of reality TV show The Only Way is Essex, of which Ethan was a fan – will make up a special guest XI to take on Saffron Walden Town Football Club at Catons Lane.

Ethan’s father Bob said a golf day at Saffron Walden Golf Club had also been arranged for June 13, while he and seven friends are taking part in a trek to Machu Picchu in Peru on April 29.

“We see 2013 as being a big year raising funds in Ethan’s memory,” he told the Reporter.