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Families of Nottingham attack victims to create foundations to honour their memories

Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, both 19, were killed in attacks in the city on June 13, as well as 65-year-old Ian Coates.

Callum Parke
Thursday 13 July 2023 13:37 BST
James Kumar (right) set up the fundraiser for his sister, Grace, who died in the attacks in Nottingham (Family Handout/PA)
James Kumar (right) set up the fundraiser for his sister, Grace, who died in the attacks in Nottingham (Family Handout/PA) (PA Media)

The families of two victims of the Nottingham attacks last month are to create foundations in their name to ensure they “leave a legacy”.

Grace O’Malley-Kumar’s relatives said they felt “compelled to ensure something good must come” from her death during the attacks in the city on June 13.

The 19-year-old died alongside fellow University of Nottingham student, Barnaby Webber, also 19, whose family set up their own fundraiser earlier in July so as “not to let him be taken in vain”.

The pair were stabbed to death as they walked home from a night out, with 65-year-old school caretaker Ian Coates killed around an hour later.

On Wednesday, a GoFundMe appeal was launched by Miss O’Malley-Kumar’s younger brother, James, six days after Mr Webber’s mother, Emma, set up a similar fundraiser online.

Grace was kind, strong-willed, determined, and a beautiful human being and we know from her selfless nature she would want someone or something to benefit from your gift of kindness and love.

James Kumar

Mr Kumar said: “Grace tragically lost her life on the 13th of June 2023 in an attack in Nottingham.

“She was simply walking home after a night out with friends after celebrating end-of-year medical school exams.

“Grace was loved endlessly by all and everything she gave to the world in her 19 short years should not be forgotten.

“As a family, we were all so incredibly proud of Grace’s achievements and what a truly lovely person she was. She was resilient and wise beyond her years.

“Grace was so happy in life fulfilling her ambition of studying to become a doctor whilst playing topflight hockey at the University of Nottingham.

She leaves behind devastated and heartbroken extended family and friends but we all feel compelled that something good must come from the loss of Grace's life.

James Kumar

“She leaves behind devastated and heartbroken extended family and friends but we all feel compelled that something good must come from the loss of Grace’s life.

“In time an official ‘Grace O’Malley-Kumar Foundation’ will be created and donations will be used to further all that Grace supported and felt she would like to help with.

“To ensure that Grace’s name leaves a legacy and to keep her memory alive we have created this fund.

“Grace was kind, strong-willed, determined, and a beautiful human being and we know from her selfless nature she would want someone or something to benefit from your gift of kindness and love.”

Mr Kumar said that all the money would go to the foundation “once the finer details have been arranged” and said: “We as a family would like to thank you for your kind generosity and ask that you always hold Grace in your fond memories.”

Since being created on Wednesday, the fundraiser has already raised more than £7,500 of its £10,000 target.

Meanwhile, the fundraiser for Mr Webber has already surpassed its £5,300 goal, with almost £10,000 being donated.

An earlier fundraiser in memory of Mr Coates has raised more than £28,000.

Mrs Webber said: “Barnaby was killed in a senseless, horrific attack in Nottingham on the 13th June 2023. He leaves behind a family broken by grief and loss but determined not to let him be taken in vain.

His inclusivity, quiet patience with others, and sheer generosity of his time prove what an extraordinary 'ordinary' person he was.

Emma Webber

“He lived his life with a simple ‘if he liked you he liked you’ mantra. With no time or judgement for creed, colour, sexuality, religion or background.

“His inclusivity, quiet patience with others, and sheer generosity of his time prove what an extraordinary ‘ordinary’ person he was.

“In time an official ‘Barnaby Webber Foundation’ will be created and funds will be used to further all of the qualities listed above and to keep his memory alive whilst reaching out to others.

Mrs Webber said any money donated will be “so very gratefully received, and always, always well used”.

Ms O’Malley-Kumar, from Woodford in London, had previously been described by her family as a “truly wonderful and beautiful young lady” who would be “so dearly missed”.

The medical student had represented Essex in cricket as a teenager and had also played for England Hockey.

The family of 19-year-old Mr Webber, a history student from Taunton in Somerset, described their “complete devastation” at the “senseless murder of our son”, saying he was a “beautiful, brilliant, bright young man, with everything in life to look forward to”.

Two of Mr Coates’ sons said his death had “rocked everyone’s world”, adding: “Nobody deserves this but he definitely didn’t.”

An inquest into their deaths, opened on Friday, heard all three had died as a result of stab wounds.

Valdo Calocane, 31, is charged with their murder and the attempted murder of three pedestrians by driving a van into them in the city centre.

Calocane, who has identified himself as Adam Mendes in previous court appearances, will face trial in January next year, pending a plea hearing on September 25.

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