THE FAMILY of a teenager who died in a Redditch river have been recognised for their work highlighting a drowning prevention charity.
Richard Fellows lost his life in the River Arrow near the Five Tunnels in March after getting into difficulties while swimming with two friends.
Emergency services had to search the water for the 15-year-old, nicknamed Porky, before he was taken to Alexandra Hospital where he was confirmed dead.
Since the tragedy his family have worked with the Royal Life Saving Society UK to raise awareness of the dangers of open water as well as fund-raising for the cause.
The teenager’s father, Richard, his sister Chantalle Aston, and her husband Paul, all visited the charity’s Broom headquarters to hand over a cheque for £1,000.
While there, they were presented with Friends of the Society accolades which recognised the work they have done to spread the message about water safety.
Mrs Ashton said: “Until you personally go through a situation like this, you don’t realise the work charities actually do.
“The RLSS UK has helped us to realise that drowning is a national occurrence and I am proud to support them and will continue to work with them and get the water safety message out there.
“Porky was a much loved member of my family and is deeply missed. I am proud to be working with RLSS UK in his memory.”
Di Steer, chief executive officer for the charity, added: “We have come to know this special family who have not only helped us to spread vital water safety messages but fund-raised for the charity, since they lost Porky.
“We met them through the most tragic of circumstances but wanted to recognise how they have used their most unimaginable of experiences to help us in our work.
“They have helped us to raise awareness and educate to reduce the number of people that lose their lives to drowning each year.
“We cannot express how grateful we are and as a small gesture to show our thanks, we were pleased to present each of them with a Friends of the Society award.”