Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

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Book of remembrance

A photo of two candle flames

We are always very sad to hear of the death of a Coalition member.  Our members work tirelessly to improve life for other disabled people and for those who come after them  We do not want the contributions of our members, and our friends, to ever be forgotten. 

Our Book of remembrance is a place for you to add your memories, reflections and special anecdotes for members who have died.  It is a place for you to pass on your condolences to the family and friends who have lost a love one.   

A photo of a tree growing on a field of grass. Underneath it says: A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
A photo of Don Illman

Don Illman

We are very sad to have to inform you that Don died during February 2021.  Don had been suffering from pancreatic cancer and had been in East Surrey hospital for over a month.  Despite his illness Don continued his daily conversations with a number of his close friends and neighbours, and even had a couple of visits allowed.  In these difficult times Don retained his fighting spirit and as always remained sharp of mind and sense of humour. 
 
For over 40 years Don campaigned and fought for improvement in the provision of mental health services serving as a Governor of Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for a number of years, chairing numerous mental health groups from the days of the Surrey LINk and the LIT and more recently as Chair of the Independent Mental Health Network and the East & Mid Mental Health Stakeholder group as well as being actively involved in many other related meetings and boards.
 
Don will be missed by all who have known him over the years, but he leaves a legacy of improved care, equity and standards across Surrey’s mental health provision.


Don was a tireless advocate for people with poor mental health and his dedication to improve services and reducing inequalities was absolutely commendable.  We must hold onto this legacy for the future.  Don’s influence and passion will be sadly missed in the Surrey system.

Helen Rostill,
Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Therapies, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Don was a passionate and vocal advocate for mental health. He provided challenge to me – for which I am very grateful – and I was sad to hear of his passing. His voice will remain in my ears and will influence my actions. My sympathy to his loved ones.

Lorna Payne
Chief Operating Officer, Surrey & Borders NHS Foundation Trust

I didn’t know Don well, but I did meet him when he took the time to come to a support group for carers I was planning and setting up, which I felt showed real dedication and care. I was also lucky enough to hear his inspirational contributions at events and I’m sure anyone who ever met or saw him, will never forget him. Thank you Don.

Tessa Emery, Action for Carers

Don was a person of great importance to the cause of the rights of people with mental health issues. I will remember him fondly for his dedicated activism to the cause, for his fearlessness; his tenacity and his humour. He will be missed.

Janice Clark

I was a friend of Don
Don taught me to struggle tirelessly to achieve equality for all, to accept nothing less than your entitlement, and to always strive to achieve the best you can.
I was a friend of Don
I will forever miss our almost daily chats on the phone, about the issues of the day, my phone bill is already thousands of minutes lighter per month.
I was a friend of Don
I only knew Don for the last decade of his life, but he made a lasting impact on me from the first, when we met during one of his frequent “enter and view” visits to the ward, with Tracey Hayes.
I was a friend of Don
Who will take up the baton now dropped by Don, in the struggle for self-determination, personal freedoms and liberty, in Surrey. I for one will answer the call, will you?
I was a friend of Don…

Alexander George Farkouh

Don will be sadly missed by all of his friends and colleagues. I will always remember his welcoming when first becoming a governor, a true gentleman.

Lyn Day

Don’s passion for improving Mental health services, and determination to do so, will be remembered by all on the Mental Health Partnership Board. Don was a true advocate for patient and carer involvement and his voice will leave a lasting legacy.

Mental Health Partnership Board

Don was a passionate man who I met as a Governor several times at meetings and was always welcoming. He had a heart for the cries of people with mental health and those with disabilities and would fight for their corner. We will miss him.

Martin Clark, SABP

Dear Don,
I miss you now you’re gone.
I didn’t expect you to die this way
So unexpected and swiftly taken away!
You were a treasured friend of mine
You’ll be fondly remembered to the end of my time.
I loved your eccentric dogged determined ways
Fighting your causes to the end of your days.
Goodbye dear Don
I do miss you now you’re gone!

Elaine Braithwaite

I worked with Don as he was Chair of the IMHN when I started as IMHN Coordinator. He quickly guided me through the Mental Health services and who was who. He was stubborn and a passionate believer in being the voice for people with poor Mental Health who were unable to raise their voice. He challenged those in charge when it was needed. He will be missed.

Guy Hill, Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

Remembering Don with fondness. He was such a strong advocate for people with lived experience of mental health problems and managed to change services and support for the better. He spent so much of his time lobbying and campaigning so people’s voices and experiences were listened to. I miss getting the long emails in distinctive green comic sans font telling me what I and the system needed to do better : ) RIP Don, you are missed

Jane Bremner


A photo of David Revie sitting at the table at Hard of Hearing meeting.

David Revie

We are very sad to say that David Revie, a passionate member of the Hard of Hearing Forum, North DENS and many other groups including Spelthorne Committee for Access now, has passed away. 

David was such a great character and a real champion for the rights of those with a hearing impairment.  David also did what he could to encourage people to check in on each other, his concern was for those living on their own. 

Until recently David was sending his own lockdown log to check in with us and to share news.   David will be very much missed by all of us here at the Coalition.

David was a force of nature! I remember meeting David at my first hard of hearing forum, he very quickly told me exactly what the issues for hard of hearing people are, and the inequalities that they face. Aside from his determination to improve life for people with hearing loss, David was also a thoroughly lovely man and I enjoyed getting to know him very much. He will be greatly missed by all at the Coalition and we will not forget him.

Clare Burgess
CEO of Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

A real privilege to be a friend of David. I always enjoyed our discussions about technology, deafness and hearing about his life stories. A wonderful, kind and caring man with a great sense of humour, he’ll be very much missed.

Yasir Haniff


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