Andrew was a well liked and highly respected man with a great sense of humour whose passion to enable deaf children to realise their potential was widely recognised both nationally and internationally.
For over 20 years Andrew worked in Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire. During this time, he worked closely with families in their homes inspiring them to see a bright future for their children. He was well known for always putting children and families first and worked tirelessly in everything he did on their behalf.
As Head of Service, he was an inspirational leader guiding his team to strive for excellence. He worked endlessly to promote new initiatives throughout the UK and in countries across the world. He was an articulate, highly intelligent man who could engage with audiences with great ease. He delighted in speaking to people and his warmth will be remembered by everyone who heard him. Andrew fervently believed that hearing-impaired children and young people throughout the world should have the right to high quality education from a Teacher of the Deaf and audiological support.
He worked extremely hard to enhance the lives of deaf children and young people in Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire and also had a much wider influence. The service he ran was known and respected throughout the UK and beyond as an excellent one with many students and other colleagues visiting to learn more about it.
Andrew was a strong supporter of the auditory/aural philosophy and played a huge role in its development. He believed passionately in inclusion and actively promoted this through his writings and presentations at conferences and meetings - always in a fascinating, engaging and evidenced way but never aggressively and respecting the views of other colleagues which might be different. Telephone conversations with him often included recent comments and examples about situations demonstrating his overall commitment and enthusiasm.
His influence extended still further and many overseas visitors came to Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire to talk to Andrew about the service and the success of the pupils there, including student teachers from all over Europe and beyond. He also - often with Sue – went to many other European countries to talk to and train colleagues including especially Malta and Sweden. It was his understanding of the variable state of deaf education in Europe that further kindled his enthusiasm for European projects. He was a strong supporter of the Europe Federation of Associations of Teachers of the Deaf (FEAPDA)and we have fond memories of his attendance in Friedberg in Germany in 2007.
Andrew was a visionary with regard to the value and importance of European funding. Before he became ill he invested huge amounts of energy and time – as well as expertise – in drawing up a successful bid for Leonardo da Vinci funding. He was delighted that the bid had been a success and was able to be involved in the early stage of the project. The project is now up and running and has as its aim the development of Europe-wide core competencies for Teachers of the Deaf - something that would make a significant difference to the quality of teaching experienced by deaf children across the continent. All concerned in the project (and this involves FEAPDA, Malta, Belgium and Oxford Brookes University as well as Telford and Wrekin) are deeply saddened that Andrew will not be making any further contributions to it but are redoubling their efforts to make it a success in recognition of Andrew’s input and in tribute to him and his work in this area. We hope that the project will be a memorial to his commitment and energy on behalf of deaf children and their education.
It is rare to find anyone who can make the details of audiology exciting or facsinating. Andrew communicated his passion for audiology so enthusiastically that he made the subject interesting and relevant to practitioners wherever they operate - homes, schools and clinic. Certainly something many will remember him for!
Steve Matthews, Operations Manager, Deaf Education through Listening and Talking was unable to share the photographs that he brought to the memorial service on Saturday 30 January at Wellington Methodist Church. The photographs and Steve's comments are reproduced here.
Andrew was well known to DELTA, like others before him he was previously a Trustee, a member of the management committee, even an early founder member of NAG before it became DELTA. He was found doing his day job all over again, usually on a Summer School event or a DELTA information day, often supporting children, young people and families.
I hope that the few photos that I have picked out of Andrew shows the caring but passionate attitude that Andrew had towards everyone that he spent time with, whether working or relaxing, Con Powell’s legacy rubbed off on to Andrew just as Andrew’s legacy will now rub off on to others; I had always looked to a future when I would perhaps one day work with him. I use to have just one special guy looking down on DELTA, now I have two, and what a special guy Andrew is!
It will be part of my job to ensure that DELTA honours and remembers Andrew for his input into the organisation and ensure that it continues long in to the future for all future deaf children. I hope that his knowledge and passion will stir people up to be like Andrew in everything that we do for the future of deaf children.
|Andrew presenting at the Opening of the DELTA HQ Passion for Con Powell – Fire in your belly?|
|Andrew had a passion for sharing The Natural Aural Approach|
|Andrew reading with a child.|
|Andrew working with a young child|
|Andrew spending time with families at Summer School|
|Andrew and 'his ladies' at a Summer School|
|Andrew – relaxing on a beautiful summer day|
Those of us who knew Andrew will miss his sharp mind, his unfailing humour and dignity even in the face of such a terrible illness. Whilst he will be hugely missed by his family, friends and colleagues it is a tribute to him that he has empowered his team to carry on with the work he felt so passionately about!
A great representative of our profession…kind, generous and with integrity.
Ann Underwood, BATOD President 2008-2010
These comments and thoughts are collected from BATOD colleagues and the memorial service held in Wellington on Saturday 30 January 2010.