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Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Ali Schofield, Big Issue North columnist, who died on 4 April after a long illness.

Ali wrote the She Has Issues column from May 2016 until 5 March this year, never missing a deadline despite her illness and always turning in columns of humanity and humour that appealed to readers of all ages and interests.

A freelance journalist, Ali, 34, contributed to the Guardian, Stylist, Marie Claire, Psychologies and other publications, and wrote features for Big Issue North before taking up the columnist’s role.

She lived in Steeton, near Bradford, with her partner Tim and dog Rabbit (pictured).

Sophie Haydock, also a freelance journalist and Big Issue North contributor, says: “Ali Schofield was an inspiring woman and a talented journalist. We met around eight years ago at Leeds Guide magazine. The friendship was instant. Her warmth, sharp humour and love of brightly patterned clothing set her apart.

“She was never afraid to share her opinions, which made her a brilliant columnist, and I loved reading her missives in Big Issue North, on topics ranging from saving the NHS from profit-driven shareholders to the #MeToo movement.

“She also never missed an opportunity to share her passion for animals and nature. She might be found helping migrating toads cross the road, protesting grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor or walking her rescue dog, Rabbit. She also admirably wrote about her own cancer.

“Ali was brilliantly intelligent, curious and deeply enjoyed life. It’s an immeasurable sadness to know I won’t be seeing her again or reading any more of her work.”

Interact: Responses to Tribute: Ali Schofield

  • Sue Patchett
    17 Apr 2018 16:07
    I knew Ali through the Riddlesden Toad Patrol, she was very witty and enthusiastic about patrolling and supportive of promoting the plight of toads. This spring she was extremely eager to come out patrolling on her mobility scooter, she was going to put the toads in the front basket, lol. I reckoned she’d be the first patroller ever on a mobility scooter. Apparently the scooter’s top speed wasn’t great though, so she said. Sadly spring came late this year and she didn’t get the opportunity to come and drive around on the streets catching toads but she’s been with us in spirit as we’ve been saving those cute little green creatures. I’m sure she’d be thrilled that again we’ve rescued more than a thousand. & some of her family came out one night to help, I’m sure she’d have liked that. Her last ever tweet was a Froglife one too, they were advertising her own article which is nice. She’ll be sadly missed but not forgotten. She touched my life, she was a genuinely nice person.
  • Rosie Birkett – A Lot On Her Plate Food and Lifestyle blog | Jersey royal and wild garlic tart recipe
    17 Apr 2018 07:08
    […] You can read the most wonderful tribute to Ali by The Big Issue North, for whom she wrote a column here. […]
  • Will
    16 Apr 2018 16:29
    I never knew Ali , but I always read her columns. she wrote with a deep humanity. Her premature death will have affected many; losing someone so compassionate and passionate towards people and the living world around us is such a loss. To her family and friends I offer my condolences.
  • Margaret Pearce
    12 Apr 2018 08:04
    What a beautiful, talented young woman. She will be so missed
  • Angela Renton (Aunt)
    11 Apr 2018 22:12
    An excellent tribute to a brave and courageous young lady. I have always enjoyed reading Ali's columns. Her warmth and good humour was just Ali. Thank you Sophie for allowing your readers the opportunity to enjoy sharing Ali's views and opinions on so many varied topics.
  • Ian Schofield (Dad)
    11 Apr 2018 18:18
    Thank you Sophie for your tribute to our courageous daughter Ali. She loved to write all her life, having the opportunity to reach Big Issue readers to give voice to her opinions was of immense value to her. also thank you to Kevin and all the staff for the encouragement Ali received. The columns she wrote will be treasured by me and the family, they are just so Ali to us.

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