RIP Sergeant Lee Bates.
When reading tonight's Express and Star I was deeply shocked and extremely saddened to read of Lee's tragically early death from Leukaemia aged just 29.
I was selected to sit on the BBC Regional Accountability Panel (now Regional Audience Panel) at the same time as Lee in 2006. As the youngest people in the room we sometimes had remarkably different opinions to the older members or remarkably similar- both standing up for the representation of young people in the Black Country across the BBCs various platforms.
Lee was polite, friendly and engaging and it was a pleasure to listen to how he worked with young people as well as being a full time police officer. We can truly say that Lee made a real difference during his painfully short life.
I'm doing the Race for Life in June and I'm sickened by just how personal a 5 kilometres this is turning out to be.