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Mural of TV star at Lowestoft school will remember Ollie

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 May 2016

The newly painted mural by artist David Nash. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The newly painted mural by artist David Nash. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2016

A large mural of a children’s television star has been unveiled at a special school in memory of a popular pupil who lost his brave battle against leukaemia.

Ollie Gray, with Mr Tumble. Picture: SUPPLIED.Ollie Gray, with Mr Tumble. Picture: SUPPLIED.

The family of 10-year-old Ollie Gray wanted something for his fellow pupils at the Warren School to remember him by after his death last year.

A large mural painted by artist Dave Nash of Mr Tumble– aka Justin Fletcher from CBeebies, who uses Makaton sign language to help the children communicate – has now been unveiled.

And alongside these creations, a mural depicting scenes from the popular animated film Finding Nemo – on the corridor leading towards the medical room – was also completed.

“Mr Tumble is a real favourite of all special needs children,” dad Jamie Gray explained.

“Ollie was ill for five years and he was his real saviour – his default go-to person.

“We wanted something colourful at the school that was a lasting tribute to him.

“He was well-loved and I think he would have just stood there for hours, amazed by the mural.”

“The murals allow us to remember people that were a part of our community and also a way of us helping to keep conversations going about people who are no longer

with us,” headteacher Jan Bird added.

Ollie was also fortunate enough to personally meet Mr Tumble back in 2010. He was helped by the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK – which grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.

Ollie, from Oulton, near Lowestoft, was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukaemia in 2010 – the same year he joined Warren School.

After undergoing two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy, the brave youngster, who also had Down’s Syndrome, came through the treatment and was in remission.

But after 18 months of enjoying time with his family, his parents were told that Ollie had relapsed in August 2014.

Ollie was absent from school for about a year, but his classmates were regularly in close contact, making Skype video calls to the hospital and checking on his progress.

Then, after what the family thought was a successful Bone Marrow Transplant in January 2015, Ollie died on September 3 last year.

A fund-raising cake day will be held next weekend to raise money for the Ollie’s Heroes charity.

It will take place between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday, May 21 at Carlton Colville Community Centre.

Ollie’s Heroes is a new charity that was set up by Jamie and Clare Gray in February of this year.

It aims to help people with the costs of living and travelling to hospital and also provides vital support for families across the area.

Jamie, 38, and Claire, 37, also have two other children – Archie, nine, and Lexie, seven.

“We want to support as many people as we can – providing children with little treats,” said Mr Gray, a paramedic of 12 years.

Children’s refreshments and snacks will also be available on the day.

Tickets are priced at just £5 and they include a hot drink and two slices of cake.

A ‘Super Raffle’ will also be held at the event – where top prizes include a Potters Weekender for two and spa days. It costs £2 for a strip of tickets.

For more information about the event and to buy tickets, call Jamie Gray on 07753 605280 or Linda Grainge on 07795 343543.

Alternatively, search for Ollie’s Heroes on Facebook or Twitter.

Do you have a Lowestoft story? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk


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