Our first blog of 2016 is a sad one.
Roger sadly passed away just after Christmas after a short illness.
Roger was well known to our Involvement Team, The Recovery College in Nottingham and our Trust Learning Disability Services. He was involved with ‘Smile! Stop Hate Crime’ since it began over 10 years ago. He was also enthusiastic about being part of Interview Training and becoming a service user panel member for Trust staff interviews. He was a passionate and vocal advocate of the rights of people with Learning Disabilities to be heard and listened to. Roger spoke with candour to huge rooms of professionals, including the police and considered Paddy Tipping, Notts Police and Crime Commissioner to be a friend. Roger met Prince Charles on his visit to Nottingham and was a keen supporter of the monarchy, often vocalising his wish to be honoured by them with a Knighthood!
Roger featured on local and national TV, including a memorable interview for ITV News where he spoke about the bullying and harassment he suffered on an almost daily basis. He never let the perpetrators win, and carried on with his busy life. He attended Nottingham Recovery College and the Nottingham City Partnership Board SPLAT. Roger was a passionate supporter of Nottingham Forest football team and a friend of John McGovern who gave him support and friendship.
Roger lived at Briarwood Court in Sherwood where staff showed great sensitivity in their support for him. Roger touched the lives of many people, and will not be forgotten. A fitting legacy would be that people with learning disabilities can live in a more caring society without experiencing hate crime in their daily lives
Our Memories of Roger
SPLAT or Speaking, Listening, Acting Together. The group remembers Roger
Roger was the focal point of every meeting.
RIP Roger. He used to come to all the meetings – every single one! I will miss him at the SPLAT meetings. He kept talking and talking – and eventually people listened.
I miss you Roger – I wish you were here now.
He would always want to help with subjects we discussed at SPLAT by taking information to other places – church, college, home etc.
He helped interview staff for Voiceability.
He fought through his learning disability.
With Wayne he was the ‘face’ of Smile Stop Hate Crime.
Anthony and Roger used to travel all over the country to different conferences.
I will miss his passion, care and delivery in meetings. He was very driven and energetic.
I remember him from the Springwood Centre. He’ll be looking down on us now. He liked to make his own points.
I remember his catch phrase – ‘I’ve got something to say’!
He was talkative!
I remember Roger’s talking!
I will miss his notes.
He made me happy and I’m sorry he’s gone. He made me smile.
He was fantastic and made me feel amazing!
I remember the good times we had.
He made me happy and I’m sorry he’s gone.
He was friendly and easy to get on with and kind.
He used to laugh at me in the pub. We went to school together.
His laugh was funny.
He was a good pool player.
I used to put my fist up at him and say – ‘old man!’
I went to a Christmas party with Roger. He was happy to be eating free food and drink but still upset and angry that things hadn’t been sorted.
Jim and Roger were great fans of Nottingham Forest. They were pals and went to matches together. Roger was great friends John Mc Govan and Brian Clough – he was know by so many people!
He met Prince Charles and was friends with Paddy Tipping.
Everyone knew him.
He was a nice guy.
He was always laughing.
He was always talking about his life.
I was always bumping into Roger in town.
He used to like to go to Weatherspoons on a Monday.
Roger was proof that one person, one voice can change the world around them.
‘I last met Roger on the bus a few days before Christmas 2015. We sat together talking about advocacy and how important it was to him to get more recognition. Little did I know this would be the last time I would see him. I explained to Roger how successful he was in ensuring advocacy gained recognition for the Learning Disability community and the permanent inclusion on the SPLAT (Nottingham City Learning Disability Partnership Board) agenda due to his persistence and passion. I don’t think Roger realised how successful he was in achieving this. Roger was a character and an avid campaigner any organisation would be proud of. He put his heart and soul into everything he believed in. Bless you Roger, rest in peace my friend . Trevor Clower – Carer & Involvement Volunteer
The final word goes to Trevor’s son, Scott Clower
‘I am very sorry to hear about Roger
I will miss him at the meetings we both went to
The SPLAT meetings will never be the same without Roger’
Thank you also to Denice Hickman, Smile! Stop Hate Crime Co-ordinator at Nottingham Mencap for her contribution to this blog. Denice also co-ordinates a Safe Places scheme in Nottingham, supported by Nott’s Police, Nottingham City and Nott’s County Councils. training businesses and organisations to become safe havens for vulnerable people. https://www.nottinghammencap.org.uk/smile-stop-hate-crime
Roger (L) & Wayne Breach December 21st 2015 -Smile Stop Hate Crime Xmas party.