Tributes paid to much loved and respected Thurrock disability campaigner

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular member of Thurrock disabled community who has passed away.

Ian Evans died after a short illness.

Ian worked for Thurrock Coalition, a User-led organisation, and was an extremely passionate advocate for the disabled residents of Thurrock; he worked closely with many local, regional and national organisations.

Neil Woodbridge CEO Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions CIC has led the tributes. Mr Woodbridge said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of young Ian Evans.

On a personal level for his musicality, radio show and simply hanging out a gigs with.

“On a professional level – Ian has taught numerous people about the social model of disability, lectured at Essex University and was a fantastic ‘expert by experience’.

“My Directors and I thank him for all his advice and the fantastic support he gave us with a beautiful open heart.

A spokesperson at the Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group: “We were very saddened to hear about the passing of Ian Evans. Many of our staff have worked closely with Ian around commissioning of services to support people with disabilities.

We valued and welcomed his support with forming the commissioning of all services so that they are accessible to the greatest number of people.

“Ian was altruistic and his character and input into Thurrock’s disabled community will be sorely missed.

“We would like to send our heartfelt sympathies to Ian’s family at this very difficult time.”

Jim Nicolson – Chair of Thurrock Adult Safeguarding Board said: “Ian was a person who devoted his life to helping others. Due to him a number of important projects to protect vulnerable people in Thurrock from harm are now in place.

“He was a popular and highly respected friend and colleague who will be sadly missed”

Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, Cllr James Halden said: “I was terribly sad to hear of Ian’s passing, but what a remarkable legacy he has left behind.

“I think there is no greater accolade than to leave others better off due to your work – Ian is such a case”.

A family funeral will take place soon, family flowers only with donations in his memory to MacMillan Cancer, but a memorial event is planned once lockdown is eased to celebrate Ian’s life and achievements and allow everyone to pay their respects and remember him in their own way with fondness.
Details of the event will be shared in the local media in due course.

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