9:18am Wednesday 2nd May 2012
By Kate Liptrot
THE mother of a bartender who drowned in the River Ouse has nominated a filmmaker for an award for his efforts to warn people of the dangers of the city’s rivers.
Richard Horrocks, 21, died after jumping from a balcony into the river last July, sparking The Press campaign Think, Don’t Swim, which aims to raise awareness of the risks of falling or jumping into the Ouse and the Foss.
In support of the campaign, York filmmaker Christopher David, of Flash Frame Productions, made the eight- minute film, which included emotional interviews with Richard’s mother, Vicki, and sister, Abbi.
The video has now been seen by nearly 4,000 people on YouTube, Nominating Mr David for best community project in The Press Community Pride awards, Mrs Horrocks said: “After meeting myself and Abbi, Christopher said he was so moved he decided to make the film with the aim of raising awareness and hoping to prevent it happening to others.
“I’m honoured Christopher chose to help us to raise awareness of the dangers of the river and support the campaign.
“I hope the film will make people aware of the many dangers. The stark reality is we’re living with the aftermath. I am living without my son, as is my husband David, and Abbi, who has been extremely brave, is left as an only child. There were hundreds of people at his funeral, they have all been deeply affected. We are touched that Richard meant so much to so many people but it is extremely sad that all of us have to cope with the aftermath of one rash decision.
“You may assume jumping in and drowning in the river is the only danger, however last year Martin Hall spoke to The Press about how he was left paralysed after diving from Ouse Bridge on his 25th birthday, breaking his neck and spine.
“Making that film was one of the hardest things I have had to do. It was very honest as it shows how I am now absolutely lost without my son. If one person looks at it and it makes them think twice it has been worth it. Now the summer and warmer weather is on its way I dread that we may receive news that it has happened again. I hope we won’t. I hope the film has reached people who might think of going into the river and I hope the message has spread far and wide.”
The Community Pride awards recognise unsung heroes and those who work to help others in York.
Mr David said: “I’m overwhelmed to be nominated. I want the film to be a success and for it to make an impact on the people of York. Vicki Horrocks and her family are incredibly brave in doing what they did and achieving what they have.”
The Community Pride Awards, which will have a York 800 theme this year, are run in partnership with City of York Council and sponsored by Benenden Healthcare. You can nominate online at www.yorkpress.co.uk/pride
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group