John was for many years a dedicated member of the Management Committee of HALOW (Birmingham) until his passing in December 2012. He allowed us to use his centre in Queens Head Road, Handsworth for meetings and gave helpful advice to us at all times. He was totally supportive and gave his time willingly. He was a kind man, with a great sense of humour. His Christianity informed everything he did for other people.
Yorkshire born and Lancashire raised, John moved to the West Midlands after travelling the world serving in the Merchant Navy.
A self-employed builder, John had a passion for helping the helpless, taking on the projects that no one else wanted to take on. His community achievements are numerous, including setting up an old peoples’ home in Handsworth Wood, opening the Lady Mary Hospitality Home (which later turned into a hostel for ex-offenders), converting a shop into a mini Advice Centre for the local community including the elderly, creating a charity called ‘Law Leisure and Learning’, acquiring a building in Handsworth and turning it into a multi-cultural centre (which he later gave to Kurdish refugees), acquiring a second building in Handsworth that still runs today as a youth training centre and, finally, acquiring premises called the ‘Villa Road Community Hall’ which he ran as an empowerment centre for local people.
Alongside his dedication to inner city Handsworth, he made time to support HALOW (Birmingham) for over 15 years and for this we are immensely grateful.