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About Thomas

Thomas Samuel Theyer was 18 on Friday 7th June 2013; he died six weeks later on Friday 19th July 2013. In the September Thomas should have been returning to Buxton and Leek College where he was attending a Skills for Life course. He was a happy, kind person who loved to make others laugh.

Special Educational Needs

At primary school Thomas was diagnosed as having Dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Dyspraxia, now also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), affects fine and/or gross motor skills and general coordination. People with Dyspraxia may also have difficulty with planning and organising, speech, general perception and thought process.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), is probably lesser known than Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). People with ADD can be overlooked because they are not hyperactive. They can however struggle to maintain focus or can become over focused on things. Their mind is often on something else. Terminology varies and ADD is now generally referred to as ADHD, which is split into 3 categories – ADHD – inattentive type, ADHD, hyperactive/impulsive type, or ADHD, combined type.

 Thomas’s diagnoses were sought to help his family get the support he needed as he transitioned from junior to high school. This resulted in Thomas having a Statement of Special Needs and maximum teaching hours support.

Chris, Thomas’s mum, now CEO of the charity remembers this as being a time of researching what help Thomas needed, with the underlying aim of Thomas feeling as secure and happy as possible. Here are just some of the things the family particularly noticed about Thomas when he was small.

  •  He struggled to express what he was thinking.
  • He was quiet and didn’t like loud noises
  • He didn’t filter what he said ‘it was like catch phrase – he said what he saw’
  • He often touched walls as he walked along for security, to stabilise himself.
  • He had hyperflexic joints
  • He had difficulty holding a pen/pencil
  • He struggled to ride a bicycle
  • He tended to be alone and lost in his own thoughts
  • He fiddled with things – in his teens he always had elastic bands in his pockets which he played with constantly


“One of my sad memories of Thomas was when he was at junior school. When I dropped the children off in the morning, I would sometimes watch Thomas in the playground – shuffling around, looking at the ground, alone. I would come home and cry. Little did I know then how many, many more tears I would cry for Thomas. I think often for parents worrying is a continuing theme when you have a child with SEN. Thomas grew up into a lovely young man. He never had a bad word to say, he was gentle, kind and he was very loved”.


For more information on Dyspraxia, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders we recommend the following websites:


For more information on gaining support for a child with SEN

The Great Outdoors and Exercise

Keeping fit was important to Thomas – he liked to eat healthily and exercised regularly. He went swimming on a Sunday with his Grandad, walked with his mum, dad, sister, and the family dogs, and was a regular participant in football matches arranged by Alice Wright from Buxton and Leek College.   

Favourite family walks included the Goyt Valley, Castleton, Castle Naize and Combs and round Derwent reservoir and Carsington Water.

Thomas in Castleton
Thomas in Combs in the snow

Thomas with sister Aimee, enjoying a rest on a walk near Castleton, and a snowy stop looking down on Combs reservoir. High Peak, Derbyshire.

Above everything, Thomas’s main passion was running, and he usually ran every day after college. He was a member of Buxton Athletics Club Juniors and went to sessions held by the club on Monday and Thursday evenings. Shortly before his death he completed two local races. On June 29th the Whaley Waltz organised by local running club Goyt Valley Striders and on July 13th the Buxton 4 Road Race organised by Buxton Athletics Club.

Thomas at Whaley Waltz

Whaley Waltz 29th June 2013

Goyt Valley Striders

Thomas at Whaley Waltz
Thomas at Whaley Waltz
Thomas at Whaley Waltz
Buxton Carnival Start
Buxton Carnival End

Above – Thomas’s first Buxton Carnival road race when he was 15 and below the race in 2013, 6 days before his death.

Thomas Theyer
Thomas Theyer Running

We are proud that the Buxton Carnival Race is now run in Thomas’s memory each year. 

Carnival 4 | Buxton Athletic Club (

“Thomas’s gross motor skills were improved greatly by exercise. In addition, the enjoyment he got from participating in sports and outdoor activities was a massive part of his life. As a family we want to see if we can do something to help other children/young adults like Thomas and their families. Thomas was so kind he once said if he won the lottery, he would give it all away to charity and he probably would have. We want Thomas not to be forgotten and to do some good in his name.”  

Chris Theyer.