A FUNDRAISING page set up in memory of a Tadley man who died in a car crash last month has raised over £10,000 so far.

Oliver Williams, 27, died in a collision on the A34 near East Ilsley on October 2.

In a post on Facebook this week, Oliver’s family said he was travelling home to Tadley to spend the weekend, during bad weather.

The post read: “This has been heart-breaking for our family and his friends. Oli was just 27 and had lived most of his life in Tadley. He had been a member of the local Explorer Scouts, Tadley Youth Drama group and more recently was an actor with Silchester Players.

“We are keen to ensure that his acts of kindness to those who knew him are not forgotten, so we’ve set up a fundraiser to create a bursary with a UK charity in his name. This will be used to help young people realise their potential through drama, dance, and music, in the way that local drama groups helped turn Oli into the confident, kind, and inclusive person he became.

“Please take a moment to look at the Just-Giving site and if you knew Oli, or if you didn’t, could you please consider helping us to make a difference to another young person.”

The fundraiser, entitled ‘Oli’s Legacy’, is in aid of National Youth Arts Trust, a charitable organisation which helps young people access the arts to ensure a diverse and inclusive arts sector.

It has already significantly exceeded its goal of £1,000, with £10,626 raised to date.

The fundraising page says that, because drama meant so much to Oliver, a bursary will be created in his name by NYAT for a specific project, hopefully planned to start in 2021.

In a statement published by Thames Valley Police, his family paid tribute to their “bright, happy, thoughtful, caring, and loving son, brother and grandson”, describing him as “a shining light for all who knew him.”

It read: "He will be remembered for his infectious joy and for his charismatic nature. He gave unwavering support to all his family, friends, his girlfriend and indeed anyone who needed a friend.

"He hated prejudice of any kind and worked hard to ensure that everyone around him was included and cared for.

"The testimonials and memories from everybody who knew him have been moving and show just how much he blessed and enriched so many lives.

"Oli earned a place at Jesus College, Cambridge to study Computer Science, graduating in 2014. He led such an exciting life, achieving so much.

"He even travelled to Japan after university where he taught English to local school children. He was also a keen mathematician and had a great love for languages, speaking French, Spanish, and Japanese.

"Oli was just 27 and loved his work as a lead software engineer at a video game software company that he was proud to work for. His major passions outside of work were acting, music, and theatre.

"He starred in many theatre performances and musicals, making numerous wonderful friends along the way.

"He was a young patron of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he would try and watch a play every week.

"Nothing pleased him more than buying tickets for his parents, brothers, and friends to watch the plays with him.

"Oli was looking forward to his promising future after putting in an offer on a house the day before he died.

"We are a very close-knit family and are all finding it hard to come to terms with our loss, knowing we will never again see our handsome, tall, bright, fun, witty, generous, caring, loving son and brother.

"We miss our bright shining star more than words can ever say.”

Oliver's employer also paid tribute, saying: "Oli will always be remembered as being super friendly, enthusiastic, a true showman, a lover of food and honestly a true joy to be around.

"We've heard much about his love and his talent for singing and the theatre and how he lived opposite Shakespeare's birthplace which was a fact he loved.

"Oli was very much a mascot for the Stratford office and his loss is so deeply felt there already."