Wilberforce Remembers Ashley Winks

We were so very sad to hear that one of our former students, Ashley Winks, lost his battle to a rare form of cancer on 23rd January. Ashley was only 21 and had put up a brave fight for 16 months against a fast-growing Burkitts lymphoma tumour, even raising over £2000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust via a socially-distanced live performance last September.

We wanted to pay tribute to Ashley and will be keeping his memory alive with a plaque outside the college music room that renames it “The Ashley Winks Studio” and an annual student award in his name.

Music Performance and Performing Arts teacher, Lewis Marrow shared some fond memories:

“Ashley Winks was very special to us. All students are, but Ashley was a student that typified the meaning of achievement. Ashley joined us in 2016 as part of our Music Performance and Music Technology courses. He gave so much to the college and was a regular high achiever, quickly making many friends and contributing significantly to Hull’s local music scene through his performances and his time as a student.”

Ashley proved during his time with us that if you work hard and you are kind to people you can achieve anything. He was a major contributor to Wilberforce College’s Mick Ronson tribute performances at the Polar Bear for PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.  Organised by Wilberforce College teacher Claire Scott, supported by Mick Ronson’s sister Maggi and the team from Turn and the Face the Strange, the night featured music students from Wilberforce College interpreting the work of iconic artists David Bowie, Mick Ronson and Lou Reed. During the evening the students put their own spin on classic numbers such as: The Jean Genie, Life on Mars, Perfect Day and many more. The successful event raised over £400 for Papyrus.

We would like to say thank you so much to Ashley for being such an exemplary student, our friend and our guitarist. And we would like to dedicate a Wilberforce Annual Achievement Award in his name to remember and recognise him as an example of the real change that music and the performing arts can bring to a student’s life.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.