Mark Straker

Mark Straker

An inspirational filmmaker has been honoured for his work in the community, after he passed away suddenly.

Mark Straker had been involved in the Project Postcode youth programme with Reading’s Hollywood actor Winston Ellis in 2012.

He had built up a name for himself in the local community and formed partnerships with organisations such as Reading Borough Council, Reading College and Novotel Reading Centre.

Mr Straker had also held a number of workshops for youngsters in the area in a bid to help them make the most of their talents and skills.

Although he has now passed away from a suspected heart attack, the positive memories of the work that he did in the community lives on.

Gary Stanton, who worked on Project Postcode, told GetReading: “I have known Mark Straker for over two years and became good friends.

“He was an inspirational person to me, always there to help where necessary and also to bring out my skills that I didn’t really think I had and above all he was dedicated to young people and ensuring that their talents were used to their full potential.”

Mr Straker was an award-winning writer and film producer who set up the charity Positive Strides UK in his home town of Stevenage.

His charity helped run Project Postcode in which young people across Reading were invited to learn about the world of film, TV and radio.

He once made a short film called RG1 which focused on the impact of knife crime with a group of youngsters, which received its premiere showing at the Vue cinema at The Oracle in December last year.

Eileen Hutchinson, another business partner of Mr Straker’s said in an interview with GetReading: “Mark felt that Reading really got him and he really loved the people of Reading. There was such a synergy with his thinking and about how he wanted to move forward in Reading. He was a great man and he always had a kind word for everybody.”

A ceremony was held in the town to celebrate the life and the contribution he made.

However, his death will not put a halt on the good work that he did. His friend, Gary Stanton revealed that Mr Straker’s plans for working with young people in Reading will continue in his legacy with the team.

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