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Christ Donovan Trust



Letters from students from Cirencester College

Dear Mr and Mrs Donovan, 

I am just writing to say how much my friends and I appreciated your talk you did at Cirencester college on 
Wednesday. We all said after how much we were moved by what was said and how we all admired your ability to talk 
about your tragic loss. We are from the Uniformed Public Services course and we all aim to be able to help people like 
yourselves one day. We thank you again for your inspiring talk, 

Yours sincerely



Letter from Lauren


I am Lauren one of the students which you told your story to at Cirencester College. I would like to say how grateful I am for hearing your story yesterday afternoon. The talk with which you gave us was the most powerful talk I have heard in my life and I will definitely carry your message on in the future. I have so much respect for you both - going through something which I cannot imagine and still smiling and trying to make a change. 

Your talk has made me want to become a Police Officer in the future even more and has inspired me further to make a change for the better in the way which the system works to ensure that people such as yourselves get the help that you deserve. In hearing your story I will definitely carry a different perspective through life and will use this as motivation throughout the future. 


Public Services student at Cirencester College 


Letter from Joshua


I am Joshua one of the students which heard your amazing story. I would like to say what an honour it was to hear your incredible story about your son. You have inspired and motivated me to hopefully one day join the police, passing on and enforcing your message about restorative justice as much as possible. 

Thank you again and I hope the best for the future. 

Public Services - Student at Cirencester College 


A few letters from pupils at Cheswick school.

Letter from Sara

Dear Ray and Vi 

Your speech yesterday was very moving and inspirational. One of the things I was must moved by was when you said "if your friends and family held your guilt". That was powerful because I feel like the guilt is passed onto me, however that may be because I care about them and don't want them to feel bad so when you said that I was very moved, because you made me think about my actions as well as yours.  I just want to say thank you for your speech because it made me think a lot about how I act and how my friends act. it also made me think about how as you said  ''One small action can make a big difference.


Letter from Lee


Dear Ray and Vi

Thank you for coming to our school and talking about something that means so much to you.  I think that you are such good people and would be such a good role model to teenagers that are troubled and to young people & children. The way you can talk about something so important to you and tell all of us at the school. it means so much to me and I am sure it means so much to the other students as well.

I'm disgusted about what those teenagers did to your son but I respect you so much for how you forgave them, I don't think I could have ever forgive someone for that.

But after your talk I now know that the only way to get on with life is to forgive.


Letter from Kai

Dear Ray and Vi 

Thank you for coming to our school on the 21st Oct 2011.

To teach us about how small actions can build up to create large consequences, for example your story began with Drugs/ Alcohol / Wanting Respect / Violence / Ignorance / Remorselessness / jail.

This helped me understand that making a single rash decision can give me a life sentence and cause a large series of events.

I am sorry for your loss however having no religion limits what can I say in place of sorry? I wish you luck in helping criminals and students around the UK or even hopefully the world.


Letter from Jahil

Dear Ray and Vi 

Yesterday on the 21st Oct 2014 you came to Cheswick school, and at 10:00 you gave a speech which changed my thoughts on murder and crime forever. I thought that if you did something wrong and you get punished that's it ,  but I didn't know what victims go through you especially talked about how you both were affected and how you found it when you found out that your son Christopher Donovan had died.

You both taught me that getting on with life and forgetting about stuff is better than wanting revenge.

But most of all you taught me that forgiving someone is better than wanting revenge, the thing that helped me a lot was the bit when you said "That the father of one of the murderers has taken the guilt for his son", It made me think about how my parents and loved ones do that for me.  It helped me so much on how I think when I get in an argument or fight.

NOW I think about what I do wrong and how I'm wrong in a situation.




Letter from Catherine

Dear Ray and Vi 

Thank you for coming in and doing a talk at our school.

It was very moving I can't stop thinking about how you forgave those boys, if I can barely forgive people at school for doing tiny things, I don't understand how you can open your arms to the men who murdered your son that's amazing.

I also cannot stop thinking about one of the boys fathers you said "He wanted you to hit him" and you replied " What would you do if I did hit you?" and he replied "He would've taken it".

Everyone always says they'll do anything for the people they love, but actually when it comes down to it not many people would.

The fact that both you and that man can do that ... the fact that that man would've taken your punch and would've lived with it and the fact that you didn't hit him you hugged him ... that doesn't make sense to me it doesn't seem human that you can have that much forgiveness inside you.

Thank you for coming into our school and changing the way I think.




A letter from a member of staff at Romans Field School in Milton Keynes

Dear Ray and Vi

Thank you for coming into our school. We were all so sorry for the loss of Christopher.

The talk was brilliant you explained how our actions have a consequence really well. You made us realise the amount of people we hurt when we do something stupid.

I took your DVD home and watched it with my mum, she though it was really good.

We hope that more children listen and put an end to gangs and knife crime.

 A Teacher

Name Supplied 

Christ Hospital School  Horsham 

‘Ray and Vi’s story made me understand the power of forgiveness. It is too easy to bear grudges but the only person who suffers is you. If they can forgive the people who murdered their son, we can all find it in our hearts to forgive others. They are an example to us all and outstanding role models’.

A letter from a pupil  











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