Luke Jeffrey Memorial Trust
Luke Anthony Jeffrey died on 19th April 2006, three weeks before his sixteenth birthday. He had been swimming in a local sub-aqua club session at The Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, and at the end of the session he fainted in the water following a Shallow Water Blackout and subsequently drowned.
Following Luke’s death, his mother Melanie and father Mark, initiated and formed The Luke Jeffrey Memorial Trust (Registered with the Charity Commission no.1120375). At Luke’s funeral and in the following months, donations poured in from Luke’s school, his friends and family, the local community and well-wishers. It became apparent that this generosity deserved to be used to remember Luke in many positive ways.
Firstly, the Trust bought five oak trees and benches, these have been sited in Luke’s most visited places – The Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Campden School, Kingham Hill School, Blockley Children’s Play Park, and the skate part in Ilmington. Each bench bears a brass plaque engraved with a personal message.
Secondly, the Trust fully supported two of Luke’s friends in their momentous swim of the English Channel. Christopher Smith and Richard Ing were swimming friends of Luke during his teenage years, many galas were attended together, and lift-shares were a-plenty! The three friends had often talked about swimming the Channel, infact Luke’s mother had obtained information in readiness for them to start training in the Spring of 2007. Chris and Rich decided they would swim the Channel in Luke’s memory – bearing in mind they were eighteen and sixteen respectively, this was a mammoth, and emotional, challenge. Please see Sponsors and Supporters page for their story.
The Luke Jeffrey Memorial Trust has two objectives set by the Charity Commission:
- The preservation of human life by promoting water safety throughout the UK by the provision of information on swimming risks;
- To advance the physical, moral and mental education of young persons under the age of 18 in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire by:
- the provision of an annual award to assist with training and development in competitive swimming;
- the provision of an annual award under The Luke Jeffrey Mentoring Scheme to develop mentoring and interpersonal skills.
Objective a) is a national awareness campaign titled Shallow Water Blackout.
Objective bi) has been supported by Joanne Deakins (Head Coach for City of Coventry Swimming Club and Olympian 1992 & 1996). The ‘Competitive Swimming Day’ is an annual event for swimmers to attend a day’s training with elite coaches and gain experience in the 50m pool at Coventry. Luke was on the brink of attaining regional times and had been approached to train for the 2012 Olympics – the Trust encourages swimmers to aim high with their sport.