FAMILIES in High Valleyfield have helped raise more than £13,500 days after a 10-year-old boy from the village died in a tragic accident.

Police said Michael Heeps died after experiencing difficulties at beauty spot at Loch Lubnaig near Callander last Wednesday (June 24).

Emergency services were called at around 5.35pm but, sadly, Michael died.

His death is being treated as unexplained and inquiries are ongoing. A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

A statement released by his family said: “He was a much-loved son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin.”

Lorraine Coulter, who is from the village, started a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the family “after the tragic loss of their very much loved son and brother”.

She said: “A member of the family has given the permission to do this. Hopefully, our little community will pull together and raise some money to help them out at this very sad time.”

The target was £1,000 but by Wednesday it had reached around £13,545 from nearly 500 donors and a cash collection of £1,154 organised by Valleyfield Gala Committee. The money will go towards the funeral costs, headstone and a memorial bench.

Rab McKenzie, from High Valleyfield Community Council, said: “It’s such a tragedy and the village has rallied round.

“The gala committee were collecting at the Co-op, the community council have donated, we all have as you can see by the total.

“To raise more than £13,000 in a matter of days is marvellous, it just shows you what a community can do. We are a close-knit community that looks out for one another, a typical mining village.

“The wee boy was in my grand-daughter’s class at school, at St Serf’s, and it’s affected them too.

“The teacher phoned the kids individually to see how they were. They’re obviously saddened, it was such a terrible thing to happen. I know the family well, I was at school with the gran, and our thoughts are with them.”