Two teens from Ayr have inspired their classmates to raise £36,000 for charity after the death of their father prompted them into action.

Katie and Fraser Thomson lost their dad, Tom, to a sudden heart attack in 2019.

It would have been something difficult to take for anyone, let alone two young people at an important time for their development, but Fraser and Katie showed enormous strength and bravery to share their pain with their class-mates.

And their peers in sixth year responded with great kindness to help Fraser and Katie raise the fantastic sum for the British Heart Foundation in honour of their dad.

In the last year, the school has made and sold facemasks and calendars, held various sponsored events and challenges and held online auctions.

Fraser, who is 18, said: “We wanted to do something because of what happened to my dad. I don’t think it is something that is talked about enough and so I wanted to raise awareness.

“I just want to thank everyone – to the Wellington community, family and friends, the rugby club – just everyone who has donated and played a part in it all.”

Staff and pupils at Wellington were given an Innovative Fundraiser award at the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Hero Awards last week (Wednesday, September 29) for their fundraising efforts.

And it was a double celebration for 16-year-old Katie, who was also awarded a BHF Young Heart Hero Award, after she took on her own personal challenge.

Katie completed a 710 km virtual cycle from her home in Ayr to Twickenham, ahead of the Calcutta Cup rugby match between Scotland and England in February.

Katie’s dad Tom was a huge rugby fan and her fitting tribute raised more than £5,500.

Her efforts also saw her receive special thank you messages from the Scottish Rugby team and head coach Gregor Townsend.

Katie said: “Me and my dad were literally best friends. I’m just happy that I turned the hardest moments of my life and something so negative into something positive and something I can be proud of – and I know that my dad would be proud of me as well.”

Alistair Byers, Head of Senior Years at Wellington School, said the loss of Tom and Katie’s dad had encouraged the whole school to support the BHF’s research into heart and circulatory diseases, adding: “Fraser spoke so well about the work that the charity does. It was unanimous that we wanted to support the BHF. I’m just so proud of the sixth years and the whole Wellington family. From the three-year-olds in the nursery to the 18-year-olds in the sixth year.”

In Scotland, around 700,000 people are living with heart and circulatory diseases and they cause the deaths of nearly 50 people here each day.