Alan Mackim: Champion of disability rights and campaigner for older people in Norfolk
- Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2009
A champion of disability rights and campaigner for older people in Norfolk, Alan Mackim, has died aged 81 at Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich.
He was a founding member of the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People (NCODP), which was established in 1996, and was a trustee for the next 17 years and a long-serving vice chairman.
As a journalist, he worked for the BBC World Service and moved to Norfolk in the 1980s. Diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis, he fought to secure better support for some of the most vulnerable groups in society.
He was also a trustee of Age UK Norfolk for more than 10 years and was chairman for more than three years until March 2011.
As chairman, he presided over a time of enormous, unprecedented change and enabled Age UK Norfolk to improve governance, recruit new skills to the board and introduce fundraising, marketing and social enterprise.
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Hilary MacDonald, chief executive, said: 'These timely changes have strengthened the charity, enabling us to respond to the difficult economic environment and to the market place that has developed around social care.
'Alan will be remembered with respect and affection by colleagues who worked with him, in particular his sincerity, unfailing good humour, quick wit and commitment to championing the rights and well-being of fellow human beings made him a truly exceptional man to work with.'
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Bill Albert, former chief executive of NCODP, said: 'Alan was a natural battler, a strong champion for the human rights of disabled and older people.
'His commitment and his many achievements in securing better support for these overlapping groups will remain a lasting testament to a man who continued to speak out against the assault on the most vulnerable.'
At North Elmham Surgery, he was a founding member of the patient participation group, which has now provided essential feedback on patient care for more than 10 years.
Practice manager Judith Wood said: 'He supported the surgery in achieving the Quality Practice Award twice. He has helped us to develop the Integrated Care model, first of all in North Elmham and then more widely in Mid-Norfolk; this project ensures the close co-operation of GPs with social workers and community staff.'
Mr Mackim leaves a widow, Dorothy, four children and five grandchildren.
A funeral was held on March 19 at Colney Woodland Burial Park, Norwich.