Shock as voluntary sector worker dies at 63

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Richard Spencer Richard Spencer

Bradford’s community and voluntary sector has been left reeling from the sudden death of stalwart worker Richard Spencer.

Mr Spencer died on December 23 at the age of 63.

Long-term friend and colleague Alan Watkinson said: “He was a very committed man and his death is a tragic loss to his family, friends and the community as a whole.”

Mr Spencer worked for Bradford Council’s social services department from 1971-80. He was youth service area officer from 1981-94 and then community regeneration (stimulating employment) at Allerton and Lower Grange Housing Project until 2002.

One of his most demanding roles came with the Manningham Regeneration Project in response to the riots, becoming chief executive officer of the project from 2001-2002.

His other involvements included being QED co-ordinator; consultant to CVS and education charity EASA. He was also a director of Bradford Cyrenians, secretary of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and advisor to Manningham Business Forum.

Mr Watkinson, who lives in Keighley and worked with Mr Spencer in social services, said: “He did a lot with his life, lived it to the full. We met up quite often and I will miss him dreadfully.”

Mr Spencer lived in various parts of Bradford, including Wilsden and Cullingworth, but a year ago he and his wife, Anne, had moved to the York area to be nearer family.

“They had settled and were happy with their new life, but Richard still came to Bradford to support various organisations,” said Mr Watkinson.

Mr Spencer’s funeral will be held at St Martin’s Church in Fangfoss, near York at 1pm on Thursday.

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