The parents of Rory Evans, who died in a collision in Wotton-under-Edge just after Christmas, have paid tribute to his memory and spoken of their determination to build a lasting legacy for their son.
Tony and Karen described Rory, 18, as “fun, enthusiastic and having a zest for life” and said that they really wanted “something good to come out of such a tragic event”.
“Everybody says the same about Rory – he was cheerful, exuberant, always up and carrying people with him - a man of action. He gave people confidence to do things and feel included.
“Rory was always smiling and would be mortified if people were miserable because of him. The pain is deep and unimaginable but we have to believe, not in a particularly religious way, that there is more. If you do one thing because you’re inspired by Rory then that’s amazing and he lives on.
“We want to create something life giving and positive to celebrate Rory’s life, so we’ve come up with the idea of Rory’s Well.
“We’ve been working with Alive and Well, a locally based charity, for a while. They have a full time drilling team and rig, installing wells in Sierra Leone which is an incredibly poor country with the highest infant mortality rate in the world primarily caused by diseases from contaminated water. Everything given goes to the wells – they have 29 so far.
“Each well costs between around £1,000 which includes the crew’s salary, sinking the bore hole, lining the well, building a concrete surround and fitting a simple hand operated pump which is maintained to give a village a constant fresh water supply.
“Taninahun (approximately 800 people) is the village we are looking at. We need to sink three wells to keep the village alive and Rory’s savings will buy one. The message is getting out fast and donations are arriving from all over the place so it looks like we already have enough for all three wells there which is incredible and we'll be able to start drilling in a second village.
“There’s nothing more negative than someone Rory’s age dying but perhaps out of this tragedy someone else will live. We're just trying to turn the most negative thing in the world into something positive so Rory can made a difference in the world in the way that we know he would have wanted to had he lived,” they said.
The couple also thanked every one for the fantastic support they have received from family, friends and neighbours, saying it had been “overwhelming" and that "there is no way we could have got through this terrible time without them - everyone has been amazing. It’s impossible to express our gratitude properly, but we will find a way, although it may take a while to get to everyone.
“In the meantime we would just encourage people to visit the charity’s website and read about what we’re trying to achieve in Rory’s name and will.”