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College supports fundraising in memory of Robin Coleman at 2017 May Ball

Rachel and Robin Coleman on their wedding day at Helen and Douglas House. Credit: Rachel Coleman

St John’s College will be raising money at this year’s May Ball in support of an appeal for Helen and Douglas House – an organisation for terminally ill children, young adults and their families. In 2014, its staff provided outstanding end of life care for a student of St John’s, Robin Coleman, even helping him to marry his partner, Rachel, in a wedding at the hospice in Oxford.

Rachel Coleman is now raising money for Helen and Douglas House in her husband’s memory. Later this year she will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, as part of an appeal which she hopes will ultimately raise £4,000. In support, collection boxes will be placed around the College during the May Ball on 20 June. Anyone wishing to contribute to the appeal can also make a donation through Rachel’s Just Giving page, which is here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rachel-Coleman8

Robin, who suffered from Cystic Fibrosis, joined St John’s in 2012, fulfilling a life-long dream to study at the University of Cambridge. By that stage he had already surmounted numerous challenges, including achieving excellent GCSE and A-Level results even though his illness created a variety of difficulties and complications which made it difficult to study at times. At Cambridge, he studied Land Economy, but very sadly he died in December 2014, before he was able to complete his degree.

Dr Sue Colwell, who was Robin’s tutor during his time at St John’s said: “Being able to come to Cambridge had been a dream for Robin and he was determined to live that dream to the full. He threw himself into College activities as much as he was able, even participating enthusiastically at the May Ball at the end of his first year. He was immensely proud to be at St John’s, and we were proud to have him. I hope that as many people as possible will support this extremely worthwhile fundraising initiative in his memory.”