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24 July 2017

Bring son's body home A 30-year-old Cardiff man was killed in a hit and run crash in Dubai.

The family of the victim, Tom Bassett, have now set up a charity to help families whose loved ones have died abroad.

Mr Bassett was visiting the Middle Eastern city with friends in May this year when he was killed.

Tom’s parents Steve and Linda have decided to speak about the horrendous ordeal they went through in order to promote their repatriation charity after it cost them £6,600 to bring Tom back home.

While going through every mother and father’s worst nightmare, the couple faced an incredibly difficult challenge to bring their son home.

They were told that repatriation costs would run into the thousands and they faced problems from their travel insurance company.

Steve said: “You can’t rely on your travel insurance. You think you’d be secure while you’re away but they’re still being awkward now.

Linda said: “We were in a position where we could afford to bring him home. We had no help from the travel insurance.

“They wanted an English language death certificate and we were in an Arabic country so we couldn’t get that. We had to pay ourselves to bring him home.

We recognised an opportunity to help people in similar circumstances so we thought why don’t we start a service for people who are in need.”

The family have now started a not for profit company called REST Repatriation Service Trust which they are hoping to make an official charity.

"We want to help people"

After the experience they went through, they want to help other people who find themselves in the unfortunate position they found themselves in, to build on Tom’s legacy.

Steve said: “Having been through it we can give people advice and I am sure we will gain more knowledge as the charity runs.

“We want to help people. It’s a horrendous situation. You can’t see the wood from the trees so if you can have someone who has been there and can talk to you, I am sure it’s going to help.

“We can reassure people because they will think, like us, their world has come to an end, we’re not over that yet or ever will be, but we can talk about it now. In the early part of May, it would have been impossible.

“Our mission is to help people. Unfortunately some day someone is going to find themselves in our position and we will help them financially and with advice and comfort.”

Linda said: “We were fortunate that the hotel we stayed in was a quality hotel and the staff were amazing. You think of the people who haven’t got that support behind them, that’s why we’re trying to help in Tom’s name.”

A number of fundraising events have been planned for the charity in memory of Tom, including a football match on July 29 between his friends in Cardiff and his colleagues in Chester, where he worked four days of the week.

Speaking about his son, Steve said: “In the early days we couldn’t be left on our own, the house was full all the time. They came from everywhere, everybody came down here to be with us and Tom’s mates have been incredible.”

Linda added: “Tom was fit and into watching rugby and training, he was an incredible trainer. He was also into his music, festivals and travelling. He travelled the world.

"He was such a great person"

“He was always on the go, he had probably been away three or four times this year before all this happened.”

During Tom’s celebration day, Steve said guests were amazed to hear about the places he had travelled including America, Australia, New Zealand, Zanzibar and Hong Kong.

“Someone said on the day that even though Tom was five foot seven when you walked into a room with him he would make you feel 10 feet tall. He was such a great person.”

The football match is taking place at the Cardiff International Sports Campus, in Lawrenny Avenue, Cardiff, on Saturday, July 29, between 1pm-3pm.

A website is being set up for the REST charity where donations can be made in future.

By: PHILIP DEWEY
PUBLISHED: 23 JULY 2017
WALESONLINE.CO.UK

 

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