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Memorial sculpture of Great Sutton teen Oscar Phillips unveiled

Model created by renowned artist Tom Murphy will be presented to Whitby High School students as an award

A sculpture of Great Sutton teenager Oscar Phillips

A poignant sculpture commemorating the life of a popular Great Sutton teenager has been unveiled at Whitby High School.

Renowned Liverpool sculptor Tom Murphy was commissioned to create a lasting tribute to 16-year-old Oscar Phillips, which will be presented each year as an award to a Year 13 student who has displayed kindness to others.

Much-missed Oscar, who was a sixth-form student at Whitby High, tragically took his own life in January 2015.

His family and friends recently launched The Oscar Phillips Foundation to provide emotional support to youngsters across the Ellesmere Port area and the sculpture is the first of many initiatives they hope to achieve.

Sculptor Tom Murphy and Carmel Giansante, Oscar Phillips' mum, at the unveiling ceremony at Whitby High School on May 24

Oscar’s mum Carmel Giansante said: “I would like to thank everyone who has supported us, friends and family and everyone who has been involved with fundraising so far.

“A massive thank you to the famous Tom Murphy who created the sculpture of Oscar – his work is so inspiring, he has taken Oscar’s message to another level.

“‘The Oscar’ will be presented at Whitby High School each year to a pupil who has shown great compassion for a fellow student, or for someone who has overcome some emotional trauma in their life and managed to get to the other side of it.

“It will be such an amazing achievement for whoever it will be presented to each year.

“The sculpture will also be a focal point of conversation raising the awareness of suicide and why it’s important to talk about emotions.

“We only get one life it’s important to keep our happiness, the only true meaning of happiness is from within, our mental wellbeing is just as important, if not more, than our physical body.”

The stunning statue, which was inspired by Oscar’s joyful spirit and caring nature, features Oscar wearing one of his beloved dickie bows and proudly waving a flag bearing the words ‘Oscar’ and ‘hope’.

Oscar Phillips

Tom Murphy, who is known for his impressive sculptures of John Lennon, Bill Shankly and Dixie Dean, told the Pioneer: “It was a great privilege to work on the Oscar sculpture and to be able to work so closely with his family.

“Oscar’s family’s main concern is to help prevent the loss of any other young lives.

“They hope, as I do, that the work of the Oscar Phillips Foundation will help fulfil this challenge.”

Foundation fundraiser

A black tie fundraiser event will be held at the Holiday Inn in Ellesmere Port on June 19 – Father’s Day and Oscar’s birthday, when he would have turned 18.

Tickets for the evening cost £5 and can be purchased at Carmel’s Whitby salon Bellezza.

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