Knaresborough family in charity appeal

Andy and May Shoesmith receive a donation on behalf of the Chris Shoesmith Global Foundation.
Andy and May Shoesmith receive a donation on behalf of the Chris Shoesmith Global Foundation.

The family of a Knaresborough man who died while travelling in Laos are marking two years since his death with a day to raise awareness of their charity which helps travellers.

Chris Shoesmith died after dropping into a river on June 27, 2011, and his family have since set up the Chris Shoesmith Global Foundation, to support backpackers and their families when in need.

Friday, June 28 has been designated ‘Shoeday’, a chance for people to donate to the charity in Chris’ memory.

His brother Andy said: “Shoeday is a day not only to remember Chris but also help other backpackers with the same aspirations as Chris fulfil their own dreams and return home safely after their travels to their families and friends.

“All money raised on the day will go to help us assist backpackers and their families through tough times and would be greatly appreciated.

“The Foundation is the only charity in the UK which not only helps backpackers but also assists the families and friends of backpackers who are in need of help.”

Former King James’s pupil Chris died at the age of 24.

The 2012 inquest into his death ruled an open verdict.

Chris had been at a cafe or bar with other English peoplebefore climbing onto the bamboo parapet of a bridge and dropping into the river below on the way back to his hotel.

Andy and his mother May travelled to Laos to fly Chris home, but received little help while abroad.

They decided upon returning to set up a charity to help others who find themselves in such a situation.

Andy said: “Whilst in South East Asia my mother and I believed that something must be done to prevent something similar happening in the future.

“We did not want any other family and friends to have to go through a similar time to what my family and Chris’ friends have endured.”

Andy continued: “We currently focus on South East Asia but will be soon expanding to Australia and New Zealand.

“The aim is to ensure that all backpackers return home safely with lifelong memories of their travels.”

He continued: “Unfortunately through self-experience we know that this is not always the case.

“Having lived through it ourselves we know what assistance should be given and also have built up a list of contacts throughout South East Asia to offer further help.”

Donate to the charity online atwebsite www.charitygiving.co.uk/chrisshoesmithglobalo