A family have turned their grief into hope after setting up a charity in memory of a teenager who drowned after a night out.
On Tuesday, Ben Manning’s family marked the second anniversary of his tragic death.
And they have urged people to show their support by voting for the Ben Manning Foundation in a national competition which could see them win a share of £10,000.
The charity was set up to help disadvantaged children and adults learn to play music by providing funding for lessons and instruments.
Ben was passionate about music and played guitar in a band, Distorted Miles.
Ben’s brother, Lee Manning, the charity director, said: “It has been a fantastic journey so far.
“At times it has been stressful, we didn’t know who we were and where we were going at first. But now we know exactly what the charity can offer people.
“The support that we have been given from people in Wakefield has been fantastic. And we have had a lot of help from Wakefield Council.”
The Benfield Charity Drive is a national competition set up by the motoring group in which three charities will each win £3,333.
The Ben Music Foundation entered last year but didn’t get enough votes to win any cash.
Mr Manning, 31, said: “Last year we fell just outside the third place winning bracket and missed out on a chance to win some money.
“This year we want to be in that bracket and win. We are currently in the lead in our group, but we are being caught up fast with ten days to go.”
Since the charity was set up in 2011 it has helped 145 pupils across 130 high schools in West Yorkshire.
But winning the Benfield Charity Drive would mean they could also work with primary schools.
Mr Manning, 31, said: “People are falling on increasingly harder times in Wakefield. This money would allow us to pay for more kids to learn to play instruments in schools.
“The hardest part of running the charity is finding funding - there’s no cash out there.”
The foundation also needs donations for its charity shop, on Northgate, in the city centre.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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