Staff at the University of Worcester will be taking to the streets of Birmingham for the city’s half marathon in memory of one of its students who was killed in the Tunisian terror attack.

The marathon takes place this Sunday, October 15, and staff will be raising funds for Smile for Joel, which was chosen as this year’s Charity of the Year.

The charity was set up by Joel Richards’ family to support families who are victims of murder and terrorism.

Joel was a physical education and sports coaching science student at the University of Worcester.

His life was cut short aged just 19 in the June 2015 terror attack at the tourist resort of Port El Kantaoui near the city of Sousse.

In total, 38 people were killed, 30 of which were British, when gunman Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi opened fire with an assault rifle.

Joel’s younger brother, Owen, survived the horrific events, but their uncle, Adrian Evans, and grandfather, Patrick Evans, were also killed.

Owen, 18, who has just started a degree at the University of Worcester in sports studies, praised the runners’ efforts.

“Joel loved it here – he felt there was a real community here,” he said. 

“Joel was passionate about running himself and he’d done the same Birmingham Half Marathon and the Bath Half Marathon.

“It’s really nice that they’re doing the same event that Joel did in the past to honour him from the university community.” 

The Half Marathon runners aim to raise at least £500 towards the charity.

Those staff taking part are Charlie Bassett from the finance team, Mark Kilburn, Brian Crawford and Steve Harborne from facilities, and Neil Laurenson who works in the University’s Careers Service.

“I think the charity is one that we all feel particularly proud to be supporting due to Joel’s connection with the university before his life was cut so tragically short,” said Mark.

“Given Joel’s enthusiasm for sport, doing a sporting event is a great way of honouring him.”

To sponsor the team, visit