Hailsham mum’s appeal to repatriate her son’s body a success after community responds to appeal

Paul Ancell and Mum
Paul Ancell and Mum

The body of a man has been repatriated after the community donated thousands of pounds to bring him home following a last gasp family appeal.

Kim Ridgway from Hailsham had to raise around £4,500 to bring her son home following his death in a motorbike accident in Thailand.

The family had to raise the money within seven days to fly the body of Paul Ancell home otherwise the Thai authorities were set to conduct their own service.

The 31-year-old’s body arrived back on UK soil on Tuesday thanks to the community’s generosity.

The father-of-one from Seaford was killed on the island of Phuket on April 21.

Donations came pouring in from the community, including £500 from Hastings Direct and £1,500 from Supreme Clean Ltd in Portsmouth after the Sussex Express reported the family’s plight.

Ms Ridgway, of The Diplocks, said: “Myself and the whole family would like to thank every single person that helped raise the money to get Paul home. “Every penny was vital in reaching the total.

“A lot of people gave a couple of pounds and were sorry they couldn’t give more, but without their couple of pounds, we wouldn’t have reached the total, and Paul wouldn’t be coming home.

“So we are extremely grateful and overwhelmed with the generosity, kindness and love of the people that have helped us, whether it be by donating money, raising awareness, or sending us their love and support.

“We will forever be in their debt, and they will always have a place in our hearts.”

The 48-year-old added: “We keep saying thank you to people, but that seriously isn’t enough, but what more can we say.

“Just thank you all for helping to bring Paul back home to his family and friends, you have no idea what it means to us.”

Mr Ancell’s dream was to become a full time Thai kick boxing/MMA fighter and he was in Thailand training in the Tiger Muay Thai academy.

Ms Ridgway said her son found his passion in fighting and loved working out in the gym.

She said friends Chris Brown and Nick Chapman had been behind the fundraising efforts, adding: “We will continue to try and raise money to put into a trust fund for Paul’s daughter, as she will need all the help and support she can get as she gets older.”

To donate to the trust fund go www.gogetfunding.com/project/paul-ancells-daughters-trust-fun

Mr Ancell leaves behind his mum, daughter, sisters Susie Ancell and Cara Townsend and extended family.