THE funeral of a dedicated campaigner for a better and fairer Redditch was held recently at Westall Park near Inkberrow.
Simon Venables, the behind the scenes dynamo for causes like Transition Town Redditch, Redditch Repair Cafe, Bromsgrove and Redditch Welcomes Refugees, Friends of the Earth and the Green Party, lost his battle against acute myeloid leukaemia on Saturday, November 6.
He was 55.
Born and bred in Redditch, Simon was renowned as a kind, caring and humble man who did so much for so many yet shied away from praise.
He studied taxonomy and microbiology and loved technoloigy and gadgets.
He was also a well-known connoisseur of cider, ale and craft beers, using his scientific brain to perfect the ideal ale. He also had an encyclopedic knowledge of music.
He stood three times for the Green Party in local elections and was a well-known figure at Redditch Repair Cafe where he was often found running the kitchen.
His partner of ten years Kath Manning said: “He was a quiet person on the surface but he did such a lot behind the scenes.
“He had so much knowledge about so many things.
“He was an expert in virtually everything, especially music, and he loved cooking too and he looked after me and helped me in my work.”
The couple met through Transition Town Redditch, planting the many orchards which are already bearing fruit across the town.
Later Simon contracted a blood disorder which developed into acute leukaemia.
Chemotherapy failed to work and despite the best efforts of the medical experts the couple were eventually told they had run out of options.
“He was just fantastic, really open and honest about it,” said Kath.
“The NHS can come in for a lot of stick but Si’s treatment was the absolute best.”
A fund in aid of the Primrose Hospice has been created in his name. To contribute, visit: https://simonvenables.muchloved.com/