‘We are overwhelmed’: Joseph Derbisz Memorial raises nearly £10,000 of donations in three days

The fundraiser will be used to pay for the funeral of the University of Birmingham student

A memorial fund for Joseph Derbisz has raised almost £10,000 in three days.

Set up by Joe’s cousin, Owen Derbisz, the fund will pay for Joe’s funeral costs.

It comes after a body was found in the search for the University of Birmingham student, who went missing following a night at Fab ‘N’ Fresh last Sunday 27 March. West Midlands police have confirmed they are not treating the death as suspicious.

On the GoFundMe page, Owen Derbisz wrote: “Joseph Derbisz was a 21 year old student at the University of Birmingham, with a bright future ahead of him.

“Joe’s death is a devastating loss for our family and his friends, and his parents are facing an unbearably tough time ahead.

“No parent should outlive their child. We are raising funds to help with funeral expenses. All money raised will go to his parents to help them at this extremely difficult time,” he wrote.

“Thank you to everyone who has sent their condolences and messages of support, the family really appreciate it.”

Describing his reasons behind establishing the fundraising page, Owen told The Birmingham Mail: “I’ve set it up to help my uncle and auntie. I want the financial burden of the funeral to be taken away. They can be so expensive,” he said.

The fundraising campaign has received donations from nearly 1,000 people, including family, friends, university societies and strangers who have taken to the page to share condolences for the 21-year-old.

Alongside their donations, people wrote tributes to the third year student. “Joe was one of the kindest and friendliest people I had the pleasure of meeting. I will always remember his smile,” said one.

Another wrote: “Joe was such a bubbly character, always positive and put a smile on everyone’s faces. He will be missed by many. Thoughts are with his family and friends.”

“From Rugby Lions Minis and Juniors,” a third read, “once a lion, always a lion.”

Charles Fernando was one of Joe’s housemates. He told The Birmingham Tab: “We are absolutely devastated to learn about the death of our friend Joe.

“A fundraiser has been set up to raise money towards funeral costs, we would be incredibly grateful if people could donate, no matter how small,” he explained.

The third year student described to The Birmingham Tab: “We are overwhelmed by the amazing response so far, and the total donation amount has exceeded the target by more than threefold.

“If you are unable to donate, please keep Joe in your thoughts. We thank everyone for the immense kindness they have shown in the past few days,” Charles said.

“Joe has touched the hearts of many.”

You can donate to the Joe Derbisz Memorial fundraiser here.

Nobody should suffer alone. Support is available to all students affected by this news and we encourage those affected by Joe’s death to contact University wellbeing services for help.

The Samaritans helpline can be found at 116 123. For support or advice contact UBHeard on 0800 368 5819 or Guild Advice.

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