A MUM whose son drowned in Worcester is raising money for a life-saving charity this Christmas to prevent other families suffering the same heartbreak.

Vicki Jones' son, Tom, was found dead in the River Severn in September last year after he went missing following a night out during the University of Worcester's freshers' week.

The popular 18-year-old from Bromsgrove had only just arrived in the city for university when tragedy struck.

Since then, Mrs Jones and her husband Ian and daughter Ellie, 14, have been supporting organisations which prevent drowning.

"We’re so desperate to stop families from experiencing the grief we feel over losing Tom," Mrs Jones said. “It was those early days that made me think I must do something in Tom's memory.

“When we got our heads round to what happened to Tom, we wanted to do something positive to focus on and keep his memory alive."

Mrs Jones is campaigning to raise money for charity this Christmas to help stop other families from losing loved ones.

She believes that raising money for the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) will help save lives.

Mrs Jones added: “The charity’s website is really informative, and it gave us some answers. We knew nothing about cold water shock and the effects of alcohol in water. We honestly think he slipped and went into the water.”

As the festive season approaches, RLSS UK have created two lifesaving-themed e-cards as part of their Yule Save A Life campaign.

Mrs Jones said: “Businesses donating the cost of their Christmas card postage to RLSS UK this year and using the e-cards instead, really could save a life – it’s that simple.

“RLSS UK’s work is entirely focussed on helping people enjoy the water safely.

“We’re so desperate to stop families from experiencing the grief we feel over losing Tom, that we’ve thrown our weight behind their YULE SAVE A LIFE Christmas fundraising ideas and hope others will follow.”

Last year RLSS UK’s drowning prevention activities reached over 390,000 parents and nearly 200,000 school children.

Mrs Jones added: “We are overwhelmed by all the support we have received from far and wide.

During the search for Tom, so many charities were involved and helped. We now want to help others and give something back.”

The charity has a Christmas tree featured at the Worcester Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival, which is a memorial to all those people who have lost their lives to the water.

Jenna Bennett, RLSS UK’s fundraising and events executive said: “The ‘YULE SAVE A LIFE’ title is a seasonal pun with a serious message – fundraising for RLSS UK saves lives.

“This Christmas we’re calling on regional businesses, to take one simple step to raising some funds for our vital lifesaving work; whether it’s cosy and clever like a work’s Christmas jumper competition, bold and brave like a new year abseil or simply donating to us your Christmas card postage and using our e-cards instead.”

For more information on the e-cards and to those looking for fundraising ideas, visit www.rlss.org.uk/rlss-uk-christmas-appeal