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Community / Fundraiser for memorial bench reaches nearly three times target

A CAMPAIGN to raise funds for a bench in memory of a Shetland man who died in an accident abroad has reached nearly triple its target amount.

Local parkour group Northern Focus is looking to replace an old wooden bench at Heddle’s Park in Lerwick with a new one in honour of Ray Connor, who was involved with the organisation.

Twenty three year old Ray, from the south mainland, passed away following an accident in Imperia in Italy in August.

The group recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £550 for the bench to be bought and installed.

However, by Friday afternoon over £1,400 had been donated.

Northern Focus Parkour’s Brendan Anderson said with the extra funds the group would look into restoring Heddle’s Park further, if permission is granted.

Heddle’s Park, near Mounthooly Street, is nicknamed Mushy Park due to the mushroom shaped concrete structures. It is one of the group’s favourite spots for training.

“The Lerwick Lifeboat and Fisherman’s Mission are two charities that could also benefit from donations as Ray would approve of the generosity,” Anderson added.

The crowdfunder says that “Ray’s light hearted and fun filled energy radiated and was felt by all, which always made training or just hanging out a pleasure and a laugh”.

“He was a truly inspiring and talented individual, within his time as part of the group he gained his coaching qualification and went on to coach in Shetland and further afield in Orkney,” it adds.