Appeal will help those in need

YOUNGSTERS needing help with their studies will benefit from an Evening Star appeal set up in memory of two teenagers killed in a horrific blaze.Families of Will Stokes and Rob Giles agreed today that the money raised should benefit students at their old school, Farlingaye High at Woodbridge.

YOUNGSTERS needing help with their studies will benefit from an Evening Star appeal set up in memory of two teenagers killed in a horrific blaze.

Families of Will Stokes and Rob Giles agreed today that the money raised should benefit students at their old school, Farlingaye High at Woodbridge.

Will, 19, and Rob, 18, died when fire engulfed their top-floor room in a house converted to flats and bedsits in Holland Road, Felixstowe.

The fire is believed to have been caused by a candle or a faulty TV set and was so intense it took hold within minutes. The sleeping teenagers never woke up.

Shock at the tragedy spread through Felixstowe and beyond, and many people contributed to a memorial fund launched by the Evening Star.

Felixstowe Town Council launched a campaign to improve safety in houses in multiple occupation, a cause taken up nationally with the government including measures in its Housing Bill and campaigners pressing for even more action.

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Both families considered carefully how they would like the memorial appeal money used - and both felt it should benefit other young people and if possible those sharing similar interests to Rob and Will.

Rob's mum Maggie Giles said her son's great love was music - and he was solely focused on this, particularly Boot50, the band he was in.

"I'm sure both boys would have preferred the money to be used for something from which other youngsters would derive direct benefit, rather than a memorial such as a bench or plaque," she said.

Will on the other hand was extremely interested in literature and also loved travel. A deep thinker, he loved Shakespeare and poetry.

His uncle, Richard Johnson said using the money to help other students who might need money for books, equipment or to take part in school trips or activities connected with their studies was an excellent idea.

"The family think it is a great idea and hope that it will benefit youngsters in Will's memory," he said.

Both attended Farlingaye, where they are remembered with great affection and teachers had high hopes they would go far along their chosen paths in life.

Rob is remembered as highly intelligent, a gifted cellist and guitar player, who had many friends and was always willing to give up his time to help the school. Will was outgoing and popular, very intelligent and who loved debates and discussions, and enjoyed his time with the army cadets.

Graham Smith, Farlingaye deputy head, thanked all who contributed to the appeal.

"This is very generous and will be used in a very positive way," he said.

The money would be invested with the Farlingaye Foundation, the school's charitable fund, and sums used each year to benefit students of music and literature in need. Decisions on who would receive the money would be confidential and the money would be given privately to those needing help.

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