Thousands raised to repatriate Bartek Stępniewski to native Poland after student’s tragic death

A community fundraiser following the tragic death of a talented young man from Rochdale has raised over £7,000 to return his body to his native Poland.

Bartek Stępniewski, 18, had a promising future ahead of him after he recently moved to London to study Biochemistry at University College London.

He sadly passed away in late October following a tragic accident, and his parents, also originally from Poland, are hoping to return their son’s body to be cremated in Poland. Bartek is survived by his parents Arek and Ania, and his younger sister, Isabelle.

Family friend Tom Bishop described Bartek as “exceptionally bright”, having gained A*s and As in his A-levels at Rochdale Sixth Form, and nine GCSEs (Grade 7-9s) from Hollingworth Academy.

He added: “Bartek lived for the moment and was known to so many. He was an extremely popular person, well-liked by everybody and knew how to live life to the fullest. He had an infectious smile and a natural ability to effortlessly light up the darkest of rooms in an instant. He will be sorely missed by so many people. He is an outstanding credit to his parents, Ania and Arek, who raised Bartek to be the truly wonderful person he became.

“Any donation would be highly appreciated and welcomed by the family so they can take Bartek to rest where he was born. Ania and Arek are very grateful for the outpour of love and support that people have expressed during this difficult time, particularly from close friends Monika and Tadeusz Frankiewicz.

“Father Simon Firth was recently appointed to Sacred Heart Church, and the family are immensely grateful to Father Simon for his recent visit to their family home and for his time and support.”

A requiem mass is to be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rochdale on 20 November at 12noon; all welcome. All funeral enquiries to be made to Nowakowski Funeral Directors – 01753 691 424.