‘Caring and gentle’

Family and colleagues pay tribute to vendor Dave Kennedy

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A well-loved vendor, Dave Kennedy, who sold Big Issue North in Altrincham, has sadly passed away.

Dave, who was 51 when he died, had been selling the magazine on and off for more than 20 years, many of those in the Greater Manchester town where he was a well-known member of the community.

Kennedy started selling the magazine after “falling on hard times”. He had periods of sleeping rough and struggled with addiction, and had lost touch
with his family. But in March this year his daughter, Alexandra Rothwell, re-connected with him.

“I was told he was going to die and I decided to meet him,” Rothwell said. “This was the best decision I made as I got to finally know who he was without the addiction.

“He was such a caring man, kind and gentle, with a great sense of humour and he could talk to anyone. Even while he was in hospital, he was so supportive of other patients that he made a few new friends along the way, even with the hospital staff who looked after him until the end.

“While I have lost my father, I have gained a family back on my father’s side and it was lovely to be reunited with them even though it was because of an awful situation.

“While he was alive it was so comforting to hear him talk about the people of Altrincham and how they looked out for him for all those years, and when he died I got to see how much he was cared for in the community as many people had nothing but lovely things to say about my dad.”

Speaking to Big Issue North in 2015, Kennedy described how he enjoyed meeting and helping people on his pitch.

“I take time to ask about other people and how they are. There’s an elderly lady who got mugged about a month ago. Well, I got a big tip from a customer one day. He gave me a tenner and didn’t want any change. So with that money I bought her an attack alarm so that she would feel safer. I like helping people and seeing that they are happy.”

Daniel Achim, service manager for Big Issue North, said: “We have been privileged to know Dave throughout his time as a Big Issue North vendor. He was hard working, cheerful and knew how to make friends. The loyal base of customers purchasing the magazine weekly from Dave is testament to that.

“He was someone who was proud and independent and would rather help someone than accept help for himself. He will be sorely missed by all of us.”

Rothwell added that she wanted to say “a huge thank you” to everyone who donated to a fund that was set up for Kennedy’s funeral and to everyone who attended the memorial.

“It was so wonderful to know how many people cared for him.”

It is still possible to make a donation to the fund at gofundme.com/f/help-us-give-david-the-sendoff-he-deserves.

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