STUDENTS at a Bournemouth sixth form have launched a business venture, backed by a Dragons’ Den star, to raise money in memory of their friend Kyle Rees.

The 16-year-old died after a tragic accident earlier this year when he was struck on the head by a cricket ball at Portchester School.

Kyle was treated at Southampton Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit before he died and now his friends at Portchester, now known as Harewood College, and neighbouring Avonbourne College hope to raise thousands of pounds for the unit.

A team of budding entrepreneurs have designed and produced “4 Kyle” wristbands which are now being sold in the schools and in the local community.

Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones was so impressed with their idea that he has loaned them £1,000 to get the venture off the ground. They now hope to convert the cash into £4,000 profit as part of the Peter Jones Tycoon in Schools contest.

The winning team will be the school which makes the most money.

Kyle’s mum, Tanya Cooper is firmly behind the initiative and said: “I am deeply touched that the students want to remember Kyle in this way – it means the world to us all.

“Kyle would have loved the wristbands as they are colourful and cheerful, it is wonderful for his friends to be wearing them and raising money for such a great cause.”

The wristbands are in red, yellow and green to reflect Kyle’s love of Reggae music.

Executive headteacher Debbie Godfrey-Phaure said: “I am so proud of the students involved in this project for coming up with something so special.

“Kyle will never be forgotten by our community and it is a fitting and wonderful way for us to demonstrate our remembrance and raise money for a good cause at the same time.”

Peter Jones, pictured left, said: “As a country we need to do more to encourage enterprise and it is my view that we should be developing entrepreneurial talent fro the earliest opportunity in schools.

“I will follow the progress of the competing teams closely over the next few weeks and look forward to seeing their achievements.”