A grieving mother whose son tragically died after he drowned in the River Thames in Marlow three years ago, has paid tribute to him as it is revealed the charity set up in his name is going from strength to strength.

Marlow schoolboy Kyrece Francis, 13, was sadly killed in July 2014 after getting into difficulties while swimming in the Thames at Marlow.

Friends and family of the popular Great Marlow School pupil rallied to raise more than £13,000 in his memory to provide lifesaving equipment along the stretch where he died.

More than three years later, the charity set up in his name – Kyrece’s Legacy – has installed 24 water safety units along the Thames between Temple Lock in Marlow to Cookham Reach Sailing Club, which mum Simone says are regularly patrolled and serviced by the charity and Wycombe District Council.

She said: “It has been a priority for us to promote water safety to children and teenagers in schools.

“We work with Bucks Fire Service and Wycombe Leisure Centre to help us to spread the water safety message.

“Bucks Fire Service has held charity car washes to raise vital funds and Wycombe Leisure Centre recently held a fun day to support us and promote our safety message.”

This month, the charity also presented a £2,000 cheque to the head teacher at Ash Hill Primary School, in High Wycombe, to enable the school to extend its swimming programme, and another £2,000 cheque to Loudwater Combined School to help with the refurbishment of their swimming pool.

Ms Francis added: “It is very important for these projects to continue and expand into other schools in the following years.

“Kyrece’s Legacy is now hoping that local companies will step forward to support and sponsor these school’s swimming programmes and water safety projects through our charity.”

Speaking about how she is coping three years after the teenager's death, she said: “My son's legacy has given me a focus - it has created a positive impact in our lives.

“His sister is so proud of what her brother has achieved. It is truly wonderful to have so much people supporting Kyrece and supporting what we do.

“Life is difficult without Kyrece, it will never ever take away our pain and sadness, that is something we deal with every single day.

“We have huge support from the Child Bereavement UK, who have been amazing and continue to be a source of support and strength to myself and to my family.”

She also paid tribute to her son, who was a promising footballer, saying: “Kyrece was a kind-spirited, happy young man.

“He truly loved his family and friends, he would do anything to make you happy.

“He would light up any room with his beautiful smile, his infectious laugh and his vibrant character.

“He was a loving and caring son and brother.

“He loved music and football, regularly watching his favourite team Chelsea with his step dad Lewis.

“His legacy is a reflection of how wonderful he really was and we all miss him so much.”

Ms Francis also thanked the High Wycombe and Marlow communities, saying: “Without the generosity and support of the people in Marlow, High Wycombe and the surrounding area this would never have been possible.

“So I would like to thank you all personally from the bottom of my heart. I hope that you continue to support our charity in the future.”