A campaigner has raised thousands of pounds for a family fighting to warn children about swimming in open water after their son drowned in the River Lea.

Shane Yerrall has handed over a cheque for more than £4,800 to the family of Robbie Lea, who died in May aged 16 after getting into difficulty swimming in the river at Lea Valley Park.

The serial Waltham Abbey fundraiser began collecting cash online through his Through the Fight foundation after hearing Robbie’s story and soon received hundreds of donations.

Robbie’s mother, Sarah Lea, now plans to use the funds to educate other youngsters about the dangers water can pose at schools across the region.

Mr Yerrall said: “We have all done what Robbie did when we were younger, he was not doing anything wrong so for me it was heart-breaking- he was 16 and had his life ahead of him.

“The money is going to pay towards raising awareness of river safety. I do not mind what families do with the money I raise for them, but I thought this was a great idea.

“Sarah could end up saving someone else’s life now, it will make people more cautious, there should be more being done to stop this kind of situation.

“She is taking a tragedy and turning it into something positive, if it ends up saving someone’s life, it will be amazing, it is incredible what she wants to do.”

Robbie, from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, had tried to swim to an island in the middle of the North Metropolitan Lake when he got into trouble.

He was pulled from the water, but was later pronounced dead at the scene.

A fundraising event was held in his memory on Sunday, with all proceeds going towards helping promote river safety.

Mum Sarah said: “It was just unbelievable that someone who does not know me or my family would do something like this.

“We want to get people into schools and raise awareness and find out what else needs funding.

“I never want another parent to go through this, Robbie did not know about the dangers of swimming in water.

“I want to get it out there and plant that seed in children so make sure this never happens again.”

For more information, visit: throughthefight.com.