Nottingham

'Overwhelming' support over teenager's Stapleford river death

Josh Boothman Image copyright Kate Sermon
Image caption Fundraiser Lynne Sansom said Josh's father told her the money raised would be "greatly received"

The family of a 13-year-old boy whose body was pulled from a river have said they hope money raised following his death will give him a "good send off".

Josh Boothman went missing in the River Erewash at Stapleford, Nottinghamshire on Saturday afternoon.

Fundraisers said a £2,000 target to help towards memorial costs was met within 10 hours of a Just Giving page being launched online.

On Monday, 283 donations had raised £3,480.

Lynne Sansom, who set up the page, said Josh's father Mark had hoped to give some of the donation to "charities close to Josh's heart."

Dr Sansom, 37, from Risley, in Derbyshire, said: "People feel helpless... hopefully this money will help the family from afar without intruding on their grief.

"It's lovely the community has come together. The support for the family has been overwhelming at this difficult and devastating time."

She added: "Josh used to come in our motorbike shop when he was little to sit on our bikes and it used to take ages for his family to prise him off again."

Image copyright Kate Sermon
Image caption Josh's school said he loved his youth club and enjoyed football

In a statement, George Spencer Academy, said: "We are deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic death of Josh Boothman, one of our Year 9 students.

"Josh was a lovely young man - always chirpy, positive and polite. He had impeccable manners and time for everyone.

"He loved his youth club and enjoyed football.

"Josh was a credit to his family, school and community... he will be sorely missed."

Image copyright Kate Sermon
Image caption Josh's sister Kate Sermon said her brother "always had a smile"

Josh's sister Kate Sermon said his death has left a "hole" in her life and still could not believe what has happened.

"Josh always had a smile of his face and was such a happy boy whenever I saw him," she said.

Ms Sermon said she heard Josh was with a friend when he fell in to the water, his friend went in to try to help him but could not get him out.

Image caption Police were called to a stretch of the River Erewash in Stapleford on Saturday where they later found a body

Fire officers and the ambulance service helped search for him and police divers found a body just after 17:30 BST.

Nottinghamshire Police said investigations in to what happened were "ongoing".

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