The mother of Kyrece Francis, who lost his life in the river Thames last year, says she is determined to turn the tragedy into positive action as the family prepare for the anniversary of his death.

Simone Francis said she has now become actively involved in the Kyrece Legacy movement and is committed to realising the vision of the memorial fund set up in his memory.

The group have been given a fundraising stall at the Marlow Town Regatta next month as they look to build on the success of raising £15,000 to prevent further tragedies along the river.

Marlow resident Ms Francis says the presence at the Regatta will have a special significance, as she has not returned to the stretch of river in town since losing her son almost a year ago.

And as the group behind the Kyrece Legacy prepare to install lifesaving buoys along the stretch, she said it is only the beginning of the big plans they want to achieve in Kyrece’s memory.

She said: “It is coming up to a year in July, it’s difficult so it’s better being in a position to turn this into something positive, it’s a small comfort.

“We have been given a stall at the Regatta, which obviously has that connection with the river.

“It’s just amazing what we’ve done so far. It’s mind blowing I can’t really take it all in, the amount of people wanting to help out who have come forward.

“We meet up regularly, we’re all mums and everyone involved knew Ky so there’s a real personal touch to it.

“We want to reach as far as possible, not just Marlow but further afield." 

Ms Francis said she decided to become more involved in the Legacy Fund to speed up the progress of the goals the group want to achieve.

The fund will soon become a registered charity, from where she hopes to launch a programme of education in schools about the danger of swimming in open water.

It is also hoped the first stage, the installation of specially branded lifebuoys along the Thames at Marlow, will be completed in time for the school holidays.

Kyrece’s Legacy is currently bidding for an Aviva Community Fund, and is looking for votes from supporters to win a share of the cash, which gives grants of up to £25,000.

Ms Francis said voting numbers for her son’s cause had gone up after the front page story in the Marlow Free Press earlier this month, but that more support was still needed.

To vote, visit