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£20,000 raised for arts bursary created in memory of Tadley man killed in A34 crash

Family of Oliver Williams create bursary with National Youth Arts Trust

Sarah Bosley

sarah.bosley@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886655

Arts bursary created in memory of Tadley man killed in A34 crash

Oli Williams

Donations from across the world have helped raise more than £20,000 so far to create a bursary in memory of a Tadley man killed on the A34 last month.

And the family of 27-year-old Oliver Williams said they wanted to thank every single person who has donated.

Simon Williams paid tribute to his “wonderful and kind son” and said the family had been comforted by the messages of support they had received from friends, neighbours and even Oli’s tutors from Cambridge University.

“We couldn’t do this without all the hundreds of people so kindly donating,” he said.

“Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who has made a donation.”

Mr Williams said they decided to create a bursary in his son’s name with the National Youth Arts Trust as it seemed a fitting tribute to a young man who enjoyed drama so much and spent his life helping others.

He said: “Oli was also a linguist and a mathematician, but it was local drama groups that helped him turn into the caring and articulate individual he became.

“They undoubtedly helped him in his personal and professional life and we’d love it if other young people could benefit from similar experiences to help them increase their confidence and realise their potential in all areas of their lives.

“We know that this is something that Oli would have fully supported.”

Mr Williams said they were now working with the patrons, who include Ewan McGregor, Hugh Bonneville, Adrian Lester and Stephen Mangan, on a project which they hope to launch next year

“The goal is that it gives those many talented, but disadvantaged youngsters, an opportunity to take part in the arts,” Mr Williams said.

“We were lucky that, as parents, we were able to help Oli take part in drama groups, but some parents can’t do that.”

That aim was given a huge boost this week by a single donation of £7,500 from a local company.

Oli was on his way back to the family home in Tadley when he was killed in the accident on the A34 near East Ilsley, on October 2.

Since his death, Mr Williams said that they had discovered that Oli’s name is credited on two XBox games and the new games launched recently were built on code that Oli had developed.

“We have all been heartened by the level of response that came from our initial post about the bursary, from the people of Tadley,” he added.

“There are a lot of generous people here. This is all about Oli and remembering him and it’s great.”

If you would like to donate to the cause you can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Oli-Legacy

For more information on the National Youth Arts Trust, visit www.nationalyouthartstrust.org.uk

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