Shock at death of “inspirational” charity boss

STAFF at a Peterborough-based charity are mourning the sudden death of “inspirational” national director Rupert Haydock.

The Orton Goldhay-based The Leprosy Mission charity said Mr Haydock (52) was taken ill on Wednesday morning while visiting Leprosy Mission supporters at a meeting in Nottingham.

Team members of The Leprosy Mission England and Wales, in Goldhay Way, who were with him at the time said that Mr Haydock collapsed in the church and did not regain consciousness.

He was then taken by paramedics to Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, where he sadly died.

Mr Haydock, who lived and worked in Peterborough, leaves behind a wife, two daughters and a son.

Colleagues at the charity have paid tribute to Mr Haydock who they say was greatly respected in the voluntary sector having been national director since November 2007.

Prior to his appointment he had an extensive career in the non-governmental organisations, government and private sectors and worked in a range of areas such as agriculture, health and social services, governance, economic development;,community, rural and institutional capacity development in a number of countries.

And he also spent seven years living overseas with his family whilst working as an economist for the Overseas Development Administration in the Falkland Islands and worked with Tearfund UK in Burkina Faso.

The mission’s acting national director, Keith Nicholson, “The staff and trustees are naturally shocked at this untimely death.

“Mr Haydock was greatly respected, indeed loved, by his colleagues, family and all those who had the privilege of working with him. He was a wonderful and inspirational man.

“We are comforted at this time by our shared faith as we are a Christian organisation and our prayers are with his family at this sad time.

“He will also be greatly missed and mourned by The Leprosy Mission globally and all who ever met him.”

The Leprosy Mission was based in London but moved to Peterborough in 1988 and TLM in Orton Southgate was set up in 1995 to organise the distribution of goods sold to raise money for the charity

The Leprosy Mission enjoyed an upsurge in interest whne it was one of only six charities Princess Diana chose to support.