The Borders College has paid tribute to a former student by putting up a metal tree in his memory.

Stuart Riches, who passed away almost four years ago, had spent several years studying on different courses offered by the Borders College Access department.

Stuart’s parents, Sheila and Ian Riches, donated the money that was raised at the funeral to that department their son had been a part of.

Stuart had suffered from continuous poor health, but it did not keep him from being an enthusiastic and outgoing student. The college remembers him for his great sense of humour and his positive outlook on life.

Joan Cairney (Curriculum Learning Manager) commented:

“The staff team reminisce about stories from Stuart’s time at College and, guaranteed, they always end up smiling.”

The Access department, in partnership with the Engineering department, developed the idea of a memorial tree for the former student.

Engineering students were tasked with designing and building the metal tree, instructed by their lecturer Dave Black.

Student Callum Cairns took the lead on the project and they produced an amazing tree which was installed in the College courtyard.

Sheila and Ian commented: “This is a lovely, lasting tribute to our son Stuart as the College played a large part in his life.”

The College purchased copper leaves and invited Sheila and Ian to put the first leaf on the tree.

Students and staff can buy a leaf for the tree, and the money is donated to the Engineering department to help funding the Greenpower project.