Tribute paid after death of Keighley community worker

Keighley News: Voluntary sector stalwart Richard Spencer, who has died aged 63 Voluntary sector stalwart Richard Spencer, who has died aged 63

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

The former Cullingworth and Wilsden resident died on December 23 at the age of 63.

Friend and colleague Alan Watkinson, of Keighley, 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 to 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 Regen-eration Project in response to the riots, becoming chief executive officer of the project from 2001 to 2002.

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

Mr Watkinson added: “He did a lot with his life. We met up quite often, and I will miss him dreadfully.”

Mr Spencer and his wife, Anne, moved to the York area a year ago to be nearer family.

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

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

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