Birch Thompson Memorial Fund Logo

Gelliwig Outdoor Residential Activities Centre

Kumar Patel 15th March 1990 - 8th March 2018

It is with deep sadness that I shared the news earlier this year of the death of our Online Presence Manager Kumar Patel. Kumar joined this charity connected with his school and transformed our media activity.

He redesigned our web-site and gave it his own stamp. He developed some of us in the land of google accounts and left us behind.

Kumar was the star student of his year at Colton Hills and I know of students asking him about the A Level Physics that they could not master. During his time at Colton Hills he stayed at Gelliwig on several occasions in the company of his peers and indeed when he became a wheelchair user was pictured with the late Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint when she presented the school with a minibus with a tail lift.

After leaving Warwick University where he gained a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering he returned home to Wolverhampton and volunteered his time and effort for this charity, becoming a trustee in 2014. To be reunited with staff that knew him as a student was a distinct pleasure for them.

Fortitude, dignity, eloquence are words that come to my mind when I think of him – I always felt inferior to be honest, such was his class. He started many an email with the words “Keith, I hope you are well” – all the better for knowing you Kumar – you will always be well. Shalom, my friend, God’s peace my friend, go with you now.

'Kumar's funeral took place at Bushbury crematorium on Wednesday 21st March 2018 and representatives of this Charity were present to pay their respects.

Post Script .... Keith Berry I came home last night to discover a letter posted by hand from Kumar's Mother that brought tears to my eyes. It enclosed a cheque for the Birch Thompson Memorial Fund I will go and say thank you but it is part of Kumar's legacy for the cause that he worked for when leaving University. " When you part from your friend, grieve not, for that which you loved about him may be clearer in his absence as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain " Khalil Gilbran.