27th May 2012
Gerry Poole died last Wednesday – his Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/gerard.poole.5. He last appeared n the Sheffield Star and Telegraph a couple of weeks ago having completed the St Luke’s walk in his wheelchair. He was 27 and had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in January 2011. He used his rare situation as a campaigning platform – see http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/poole-gerard.
Green Party Chairperson Peter Garbutt paid this tribute. “Gerry’s positive attitude to life, his good-humoured commitment and his determination to lead with his intelligence are an inspiration to all who knew him. His openness about his illness was refreshing, and his campaigning on disabilities issues was conducted with huge dignity. He will be missed as much for his friendliness and sense of humour as for his activism. He was a truly good man. Our sincere condolences go to his partner Rachel and to all his family and friends.”
Eammon Ward, Secretary of Sheffield Green Party said
“Gerry was briefly a member of the Green Party but he then chose to campaign outside of party politics. He gave all his energy to those needing help that he now leaves behind. He highlighted the many failings of the benefits system for those diagnosed with terminal illnesses. Plus the injustice of cuts and longer qualifying periods in the coalition welfare reforms. And he was on the streets with UK Uncut highlighting the tax avoiders not paying their fair share while the disabled bear the brunt of the cuts. He achieved a lot in his final 16 months and inspired many people who will continue to campaign for fairness and equality.”