Determined to do his bit to raise money for Comic Relief, the 16-year-old uttered his final words at 7am to his mum and dad before heading into Wiltshire College Trowbridge on Friday 24th March saying: “I’m really nervous about doing this but want to as it’s such a good cause and I can’t wait to start.”
Rhys is a pre-16 student studying the Foundation Studies programme three days a week at college and two days at Clarendon School.
Communicating via pen and paper on Friday, Rhys told Communications Officer Trudi Hodges: “This is extremely hard for me as I have ADHD.
“I like to raise money for charity though and so I thought a sponsored silence was a good idea as people know I like to talk.”
Rhys asked friends, family, college staff and fellow students to sponsor him and took to social media to help spread the word about his challenge and increase donations by taking part in a short video explaining what he was doing.
He was delighted that at the end of the 24-hours to have successfully managed not to say a single word and raise over £100, with donations still coming in.
Rhys said: “I am so pleased that I managed to do it.
“I really did find it so hard and nearly slipped up a few times, but thankfully didn’t!
“I am known for my chattiness and found it most hard sitting with my friends in class as they were all talking.
“I also found it really difficult at home but sat and watched Comic Relief all night which helped as I could see where the money I raised will go.
“I set myself a target of £100 and I have already raised that with donations still to be collected so I am chuffed I beat that.
“My mum and dad and aunts all said after 24 hours they were really proud of my and very surprised and my three younger brothers keep congratulating me so I am really pleased.”
Emily Hughes is a Foundation Studies lecturer in Trowbridge.
She said: “We are all very proud of Rhys for completing the 24-hour silence, he did really well.”
Other students in Foundation Studies at Trowbridge also did their bit for Comic Relief, organising a Lucky Dip and Red Nose themed cake sale in reception.
In Chippenham the Student Union organised a staff versus student football tournament on the field.
Staff included Mel Sweetman and Tom Witts from Foundation Studies, who were rivalling their own students, and won 5-4 in the fun match, which raised £70.59.
Childcare students in Salisbury were pleased to raise around £70 after organising a photobooth and cake sale and charity buckets around the campus collected more then £30 in donations.
To see Rhys’ video visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMTDv-6dkK8.