THE HEARTBROKEN parents of 18-year-old Thomas Jones say the community’s support during the ‘worst week of their lives’ has taken their breath away.
Thomas’ mum Vicki said: “It was absolutely incredible to see the amount of people paying their respect to Tom over the weekend – it goes to show much he was loved.
“We want to a massive thank you to everyone who helped search.
“From the police, to the university, to his friends and many others who joined along the way.
“Their continued support has also given us a lot of strength to carry on in such a difficult and dark time.”
When they heard the news a body had been found in the river last Friday, Vicki and Thomas’ dad Ian, went up to their son’s room, lay on his bed and listened to an Oasis record – Thomas’ favourite band.
“We played the album on an old record player which we had given him as a gift because he loved all that sort of old stuff.
“He loved anything vinyl and would constantly be searching for new indie records.
“I could speak for hours about him because he was such a lovely boy.”
Two campaigns were launched on Monday to provide lasting legacies to Tom.
A crowdfunding page set up to install memorials at Worcester University, West Bromwich Albion FC, South Bromsgrove High School and Bromsgrove Sporting FC, has already amassed £6,600 of its £7,000 target.
And an online Parliamentary petition had been set up to get the Sabrina footbridge in Worcester renamed ‘Jonah’s Bridge’ has close to 6,500 signatures yesterday when The Standard went to press.
They were set up by Tom’s close friend Harley Hetherington, who also created the Find Jonah Facebook page during the search for him.
On the JustGiving page Harley said: “A true legend was lost but the memory of him deserves to live forever.
“Tom touched the hearts of so many and we all want to remember him as the fun-loving and happy person he was.
“We want to construct memorials for Tom so everyone can remember him for as long as possible and he can live in all our hearts forever.”
Visit justgiving.com and search for ‘Remember Jonah’ for the crowdfunding page or change.org and search for ‘Sabrina Bridge’ for the petition.