A SPORTING student has kicked off a charity tournament to help raise funds in memory of a former pupil.

Northallerton School and Sixth Form College student Joe Barron organised the school’s second annual inter-school charity football competition in aid of the Lance Corporal Ben Hyde Memorial Trust.

Ben, of Northallerton, was one of six Royal Military Policemen killed in 2003 in Southern Iraq.  

The memorial trust set up in is name provides assistance to young people in the local community as well as the Royal Military Police Central Benevolent Fund.

“Everyone at Northallerton School and Sixth Form College knows about The Ben Hyde Memorial Trust and the work that it does in the community,” said Joe, 17, of Northallerton.

“Last year I was talking to my tutor Nick Watkins about the charity and we thought it would be a good idea to organise a school football tournament to see if we could raise some money to help.

“Initially we had seven teams taking part, all boys, from Years 10 to 13 and managed to raise £112, so we thought we’d do it again this year only bigger and better.”

With 21 teams already signed up, including teams of boys and girls from Years 8 to 13, Joe is hoping to raise in excess of £250 which will also go towards helping a local diabetes charity group.

“Noah, the son of one of our PE teachers, Stuart Wright, was diagnosed with type one diabetes and has been receiving treatment at The James Cook Hospital,” said Joe.

“The whole family has been supported by a local diabetes group so we thought the tournament would also be a good opportunity for us to help raise funds for them.

“The support we have had from the school, the staff and students has been really fantastic and it’s great to be able to do our bit to help.”

PE teacher Mr Wright added: “It was a fantastic offer from Joe to help raise money to support Noah and other children who have diabetes.

“The diabetes group looks after families that have been newly diagnosed, organises educational and activity days and helps people talk about their experiences of living with the condition.

“Joe’s tournament is such a positive event and has got all of the year groups in school motivated and excited. It really has brought out the very best in all of our young people.”