A CHARITY will be set up in memory of a teenager who drowned in the River Tyne.

Robert Hattersley, of Crawcrook, died after getting into difficulty in the river at Ovingham. The 13-year-old had been swimming with friends during the UK heatwave in July.

After a large-scale search by emergency services, the body of the Year 9 Thorp Academy pupil was found in the water.

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A number of floral tributes and notes were left at the scene at the time and an online book of condolence set up by Robert’s Ryton-based school amassed hundreds of signatures.

Now, parents Stella and Carl Hattersley are launching the Robert Hattersley Foundation.

It is hoped that the charity will see more lifesaving equipment installed by the river to prevent other tragedies.

The charity also hopes to reach out to children in schools and offer activities for young people of all ages to keep them safe and occupied. It will officially launch on January 28 at Crawcrook Church with a meeting to raise awareness of water safety and the dangers of open water swimming, and to remember Robert’s short life.

“He was a happy little boy”, Stella told the Courant five months after Robert’s passing. “He loved all his family, his nieces, his nephew, and his two dogs. He also loved football.

“He was very polite and was well known in Crawcrook, Prudhoe and Ovingham. He had a lot of friends and was a lovely lad.

“We miss seeing him every day. We’ll never see him have kids.

“We won’t want other families to go through what we have.”

The family is also distributing homemade educational leaflets and safety posters, as well as T-shirts and wristbands.

In the wake of Robert’s death, thousands of pounds were raised to help support his grieving family and give him the "best send-off" possible.

A family fun day was also held at Ryton & Crawcrook Albion FC ground Kingsley Park to remember the popular teen and Newcastle United fan. A memorial bench is due to be installed at Crawcrook park and at his school.

The family thank the community and the church for their support.