The mother of student Richard Okorogheye who went missing after leaving his home West London has announced plans to build a mental health foundation in her son’s name.
Evidence Joel thanked the public for their donations to a Go Fund Me appeal which currently has over £40,000 in donations.
The Go Fund Me was set up by Richard’s aunt Blessing Okorji and calls for donations for funeral costs and a memorial bench.
The appeal said, “For those of you who have reached out in regards to supporting the family in this painful time, it is very much appreciated.
“If you are able, please give a donation to help in the cause of Richards funeral costs & to build a foundation in his name to support Sickle Cell sufferers and Mental Health in young people.
“We also want to build a memorial bench where Richard was found.”
In an interview with PA Agency, Ms Joel said, “It’s amazing, I didn’t expect this at all. It’s incredible, I appreciate everyone and those who are contributing for Richard. His funeral is coming and any help and prayers we appreciate.
“There has to be awareness and for it to be treated as a serious disease. If we can use Richard’s name to bring more awareness then so be it.
“A lot of people out there have a condition where they don’t have a voice, the public and society need to know what sickle cell is.”
Richard Okorogheye, a student at Oxford Brookes University, was reported missing on the 24th of March after leaving his home in Ladbroke Grove in West London.
Police extended their search into Essex and found CCTV footage showing Richard walking towards Epping Forest on the 23rd of March.
The 19-year-old’s body was found in Epping Forest pond on the 5th of April.
You can find the Go Fund Me set up by Richard’s family here.
Information on Sickle Cell can be found on the sicklecell.org website.
For mental health support, talk to the Samaritans.