Tributes paid following sudden death of ‘honourable and decent’ ADASS president

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have this morning reported the sudden death of their president, Harold Bodmer, who passed away yesterday.

In a joint statement from Margaret Willcox, Vice President and Ray James, Immediate Past President, they say: “It is with great sadness that we announce the sad passing of our President, Harold Bodmer, yesterday.

“Many people today have used the words “such a lovely, honourable man” capturing how, in addition to his professionalism and expertise, his values, integrity, compassion, humility and warmth meant Harold was not only deeply respected but also held in great affection by so many people.

“Harold has made an enormous contribution to the people of Norfolk, to our Association and to the wider health and care sector. He has served ADASS as Regional Chair, then Vice President before becoming President in April this year. His opening speech will be remembered by everyone who had the privilege to be there.

“Harold will be greatly missed, most of all, our thoughts and warmest wishes are with his wife and family at this very sad time. May he rest in peace.”

David Behan, Chief Executive and Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Harold Bodmer’s untimely death. He was an honourable and decent man who cared deeply about people, especially those in need of support.

“In his too short months as ADASS President he had gained a reputation for straight-talking about the challenges facing social care and social work and only last week was highlighting the financial pressures affecting the sector.

“He will be sorely missed and our thoughts and sympathy are with his family, friends, colleagues and all who loved him.”

Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: “The whole of the social care world is shocked by the news of Harold’s untimely death. I knew him to be a deeply compassionate man who was determined to make sure the people he served could access high quality care and support.

“But more than that he was a thoroughly decent man who always looked to find the positives in any situation no matter how challenging it was, and that was recognised by his peers when he was elected as the President of Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.  Those of us who had the privilege to work with Harold will miss his sincerity and genuine commitment to our collaborative work.

“Our thoughts today are with his family and his colleagues who have lost an outstanding adult social care leader.”

BASW Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen also shared her condolences saying: “I’m so sorry to hear about the death of Harold Bodmer and on behalf of the Association I would like to extend my deepest sympathies. Harold was a caring advocate of social work and the people we serve.

“BASW benefited from Harold’s wisdom at our social work summit in January, where collaboratively we were able to begin to develop a stronger united voice for the profession, talk about renewing confidence within social work and share our understanding of the challenges for the future of practice. We will miss Harold greatly.”

Harold joined Norfolk County Council as an Assistant Director from Cambridgeshire County Council in 2003, becoming Director in 2005. Prior to becoming President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, he chaired the Eastern region branch for a number of years.

Harold was also a Trustee of the Mudeka Foundation, supporting schools in Zimbabwe.