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"One force of nature overcome by another"

 

Char's Fund began in the New Year of 2005, one year after the 2004 Asian tsunami in which 230,000 to 280,000 people perished in 14 countries.

Amongst the victims in Thailand was CharlotteJones 23 years old and six weeks into an adventure of a lifetime.

Koh Racha Yai

Back in the UK and just a few hours before the tidal wave hit Koh Racha Yai, her family had had a perfectly normal conversation with an excited Charlotte who said the island was the most beautiful place she had ever seen, and that coming from the rigours of travelling in India it truly seemed like paradise.  

 Siam Bay before the Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004

Siam Bay before the Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004

Charlotte,  together with her traveling companion and best friend was sleeping in a traditional island hut set back from the beach and positioned  in the jungle. The evening  before they had been making new friends and partying on the beach where Charlotte was learning how to use fire poi.  

 The very last photo of Charlotte, Siam Bay the early hours of Boxing Day.

The very last photo of Charlotte, Siam Bay the early hours of Boxing Day.

The morning was calm, peaceful and beautiful and they were to leave the island briefly later that day and had stored their luggage elsewhere. Being told that there were interesting things happening at the beach they had no reason to be alarmed as they strolled along to see what was happening and to say goodbye to a friend they had met the night before but sadly Charlotte never returned from the beach that day. Although her friend survived she was traumatised subsequently becoming a founding member and trustee for Char's Fund. 

  • Her friends and family wish to express their gratitude here to all the people who helped to repatriate Charlotte ten weeks after the tsunami and brought her home.

 

Charlotte

Charlotte was and always had been a force to be reckoned with as the plaque that her Bristol university friends placed above the door of their student accommodation  read, " One force of nature, overcome by another".  She was also a tremendously bright, passionate, generous and caring person.

She loved dancing and music, the hit song,"dancing in the moonlight " was one of her favourite songs to dance to and being an amateur electronic dance DJ gave her a creative outlet from academic studies.   

 Vicki, Alan, and Charlotte enjoying sunny times at West Wittering Beach.

Vicki, Alan, and Charlotte enjoying sunny times at West Wittering Beach.

Charlotte was a constant achiever throughout her short life. We who knew and loved her are sure that she would have continued into adulthood with the determination to make the best of her natural abilities as she was imbued with an amazing intellect and with an intrepid spirit. Amongst Char's many activities was being a girl guide and a DofE achiever. Char would work hard to push her personal boundaries intellectually and physically, climbing Mount Kilamanjaro at a young age and returning with a greater compassion, respect and concern for the hardship that others suffer by subsequently sponsoring a child in Romania.

"If you had lived dearest Charlotte, the world would undoubtably be a livelier and more interesting place. Oh! the fun and frolics to be had and the amazing adventures yet to come.

 

Chars Fund

In the beginning we had a small amount of donated money (about 5,000 GBP.) The idea was to find a child, one possibly affected by the tsunami to sponsor. With this in mind and with the help of an interpreter we approached a Muang Phuket school in Chalong Bay where most of the children from Koh Racha Yai attend. In the end the headmaster produced a list of 200 and we said we would take on two students and see them through education be providing a small grant to each child. At one stage this number grew to fifteen students, thanks to generous donations and fund raising. Although some of the original recipients dropped out of Char's Fund early for various reasons we managed to retain nine youngsters, seven of whom have now graduated.

It has always been difficult administrating the fund from the UK although Alan Charlotte father and prime driver of the charity was brilliant at doing this until his death in January 2013. 

We now have contact, through Facebook, with all the students involved including those that have left the fund recently on Facebook. They are all doing well and we are extremely proud of them and our role in their lives. 

We could not have done this without Yindhee, the English teacher at the school who administers the money sent from Char's Fund to Thailand for us, nor without the hundreds of people including,  Charlottes' friends, colleagues and family who have offered so much by providing advice, fundraising events and much needed moral support and encouragement.