‘Heart of gold’: Tributes paid to budding screenwriter student, 21, found in river near university

The family of a student from Maltby is raising money for their son’s funeral after he was found dead in Sunderland where he was studying.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 10:24 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 11:05 am

Budding screenwriter Thomas Jackson, 21, was found in the River Wear in Sunderland on Sunday, January 19.

His cause of death is not yet known.

Thomas’ family and friends have launched a fundraiser to help pay for a funeral, and donations for the ‘smart, kind-hearted Maltby lad’ have already reached close to £2,500.

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Thomas Jackson, 21, of Maltby, died in Sunderland on January 19

Rachel Stride, a friend of Thomas’ parents Lisa and Alan Jackson, is organising the fundraiser.

She said: “Thomas was a smart, kind-hearted Maltby lad, who was studying at Sunderland University. He had a heart of gold and was loved by so many people.

“It was impossible not to love him and his cheeky smile. He would do anything for anyone and he loved his family more than anything in this world, especially his mum and dad.

“He had so many friends and a family who adored him and I know all of us are hurting inside.

“Thomas' family are utterly heart-broken, and my heart is breaking for them too. Thomas meant everything to Lisa and Alan, he was their whole entire world and I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through. No-one should ever have to bury their child, not ever .

“As much as cards and flowers are lovely, I know after chatting with Lisa and Alan, that a donation towards Thomas' funeral would be much more appreciated and would take a little of the stress, pressure and worry away from them.

“Let's get Thomas' home and let's give him a send off like no other.”

Mother Lisa Jackson said: “He was so loved. He was our world with him being our only child.

“He had so many plans. He had a massive heart and would do anything to help anyone. He liked the uni party lifestyle and had lots of friends.

“He was studying media at Sunderland uni. He wanted to be a screenwriter and was doing well. His tutors thought he had a real chance of being a future writer.”

A post-mortem is being carried on tomorrow(January 28) to determine the cause of Thomas’ death.