IT'S been over two weeks since a group of heroic locals worked together to retrieve a memorial bench which was thrown into the River Tone in what the town council described as a "mindless act of vandalism".

After hearing Somerset Council and the Environment Agency deemed the bench to be "not safe to recover", magnet fisherman Kenzi Coles attempted to retrieve the bench alone, but after 45 minutes, a group of selfless students came to his aide.

The saga continues as the County Gazette has now been made aware that the group of students are ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) pupils at Bridgwater and Taunton College.

BTC Wellbeing Officer Ruby Syed was passing through French Weir Park with her students at the time of Kenzi's efforts, and explained how they were extremely keen to help him.

"I spoke to Kenzi at the scene and saw how important it was for him to achieve this mission," she said. 

"My ESOL students voluntarily got involved and showed such community spirit and teamwork to help him.

"They are all new to this country, have very little English speaking and are all dedicated to helping and supporting others in their quest."

The group of courageous students have been forced to overcome serious adversity before arriving safely in the UK.

"Their journey to the UK has not been easy and many of the ESOL learners do not have any families with them," Ruby explained.

"They have all travelled from different countries that are deemed unsafe.

"However, their willingness to learn both the language and culture are amazing, and they always show kindness and a good heart.

"They are wonderful to work with."