Youthability Youth Services in Walney honors the life of Barrow bus driver Ronnie Warriner

A MEMORIAL tree will be planted to remember the life of a beloved bus driver who was fatally injured in a bicycle collision.

Youthability Youth Services has chosen a special way to remember longtime volunteer Ronald (Ronnie) Warriner who died in a collision at Walney Promenade in July of last year.

The 66-year-old volunteered as a bus driver for the Walney-based charity Youthability for 14 years.

He also worked as a bus driver at St Pius X Catholic Primary School for ten years, before working at the shipyard as a machinist and inspector.

St Pius Primary decided to name their minibus ‘Ronnie’ in memory of their longtime bus driver.

Known as “Ronnie the Rocket”, Mr. Warriner was an “excellent” rugby player, having played for the Walney Central and Barrow Masters teams for several years.

To mark its “huge” impact on the charity, Youthability plants a tree in memory of Ronnie for them to remember in his life.

Les McLeese, manager of the Youthability project, said the tree will be a way to remember Ronnie for years to come.

He said: “Ronnie drove the bus for Youthability for a number of years and was very close to everyone here.

“He picked up the young people who came to the center and was always available if something was needed.

“We were all very close to him and his passing was a sad loss.

“We wanted to plant a permanent tree to remember Ronnie for years to come.

“It’s a place where people can come and pay their respects.

“We also plan to name the kitchen ‘Ronnie’s Kitchen’ at the community center.”

Mr McLeese said Ronnie was having a “massive impact” on the young people who used the center.

“He was such a big part of the center,” he said.

“The children could only come to the center because of Ronnie – he was an essential part.

“He had a huge impact on the young people here.”

The association is also raising funds for Harley Anderson, 11, of Barrow, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.

Mr. McLeese said: “We saw the call for a fundraiser for Harley on Facebook and thought we would get involved.

“We try to do something for someone in the local community every year and chose Harley this time around.

“We have chosen to walk barefoot on Lego as a challenge this year and the kids are thrilled.

“We always try to give back to the community every year and we thought the Harley fundraiser was one we can support.”

The Sponsored Lego Walk for Harley is at 6 p.m. tonight and the tree planting for Ronnie will be at 7 p.m.

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