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'I could not have got through it without them' - Ben Wragge's mother thanks Thurston community as plans to build skate park in his honour get underway

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 August 2016

The group hoping to build a skate park in Thurston in memory of Ben Wragge. Ben's mum, Claire is pictured (centre).

The group hoping to build a skate park in Thurston in memory of Ben Wragge. Ben's mum, Claire is pictured (centre).

Archant

The mother of a boy tragically killed by an air rifle has spoken of the "incredible support" from the Thurston community, as plans to build a skate park in her son's honour were launched.

Ben Wragge on his BMXBen Wragge on his BMX

The mother of a boy tragically killed by an air rifle has spoken of the “incredible support” from the Thurston community, as plans to build a skate park in her son’s honour were launched.

Claire Wragge, mother of Ben, 13, said without the community rallying around her family, they do not know how they would have got through it.

Keen skateboarder and BMX biker Ben sadly died on May 1 at West Suffolk Hospital after suffering a wound to the neck. Mrs Wragge said building a skate park was exactly what her son, who went to Thurston Community College, would have wanted.

“After Ben died the support has been immense,” she said. “I could not have got through it without them. The community really pulled together.”

Ben WraggeBen Wragge

Friend’s of Mrs Wragge set up a fundraising page on Just Giving in May, hoping to raise money to support the family through the difficult time. Within days the total soared to £8,000.

Mrs Wragge continued: “The money raised was staggering, it was almost too much. Me and my family want to see that money all go to the skate park in Ben’s memory.

“Ben loved skating, he was always on a BMX and his scooter. I think everyone would like to see it built in Ben’s honour – it would be a lovely way for him to remembered.

“I think Thurston needs a skate park, it is not just for Ben, it is for all the kids. The Just Giving page raised £8,000 – me and Ben’s family, we want something positive to come out of something so horrid. It is what Ben would have wanted.

Ben WraggeBen Wragge

“I know it will happen, we just need to get fundraising, and we are going to be doing a lot of fundraising.”

Mrs Wragge spoke about how the promising Stowmarket Rugby Club youth player Ben used to talk about plans for a skate park, saying she had to take him all over just to use parks elsewhere.

“In the village they normally skate outside the library,” she said. “They go anywhere really and it is not safe.”

The idea to build a skate park in Ben’s honour came out of failed bid to see one built at the New Green Centre.

After the tragic death of Ben, who has two sisters and a brother, a new Thurston Skate Park Group committee was formed, chaired by Steve Button.

“We have identified a site off Heath Road which might just be big enough,” he said. “It would be the perfect way to remember Ben, we have a lot of work to do though.

“We will be putting in a lot of grant applications, a lot of fundraising and a lot effort. The first step is identifying and securing a site.”

Mr Button said a growing village like Thurston was in desperate need of a skate park and he was already getting advice from successful skate park groups, like those behind the Bury St Edmunds park.

If you would like to support the group, go to www.bit.ly/skateforben or contact Mr Button on steve.button@gmail.com

Funds can also be donated online at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/thurstonskatepark

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