We were saddened to hear about the death of Chris Edmondson this Spring. Chris was one of the first members of Together for Short Lives’ Young Avengers Group and over the years he shared his insight, wit and experience with us, contributing to numerous articles and resources. He will be missed by all those who knew him. We invited some to share their tributes:
From Anna O’Mahony, Co-Chair of Yorkshire & Humber Regional Action Group
It is with great sadness that the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Action Group are sharing this tribute to Christopher Edmondson, Co-Chair of the RAG, who passed away in May following a road traffic accident.
Chris has been such an important person in championing the rights of young people with disabilities for a long time. As a disabled man in his early thirties living a very full life, being part of the Together for Short Lives Transition RAG, gave Chris the ideal opportunity to speak up for young disabled people and their families about the services people need and the support that is required as they go through the very difficult time of transition from children’s to adult services. Chris’s lived experience which he shared so openly, was invaluable when professionals came together to discuss important matters that affect young people in all areas of their life such as home, education, work and relationships.
The funding available for respite and short breaks services was something Chris had a strong opinion about, with lots of energy going into projects and activity to assist adult and children’s hospices to work more cohesively to improve the transition between the two. Historically, transition hasn’t always been the best experience for disabled young people, but many have had, and will have, a more positive experience as a result of the input Chris gave both regionally and nationally to developing better transition pathways.
Chris, we will miss you terribly. Your opinion counted for so much and the way in which you shared your thoughts was humbling. You talked with great experience for a man so young and always with humour and honesty. We thank you for all your work with the Regional Action Group. We will continue to work to improve the transition process for young disabled people in your memory.
From David Strudley, Chair of the former Transition Taskforce
From a national perspective, Chris was a stalwart of the Transition Taskforce and his contribution to the work of transition was immense. He was one of a growing band of young adults who, having themselves overcome the considerable challenges associated with transferring to adult services, made great efforts to pass on their experiences to as wide an audience as possible. He will be long remembered for his good-humoured approach to the demands he faced. Chris will be greatly missed. In his memory, and all the other young people like him, we will continue to fight for the support that they and their families and carers deserve and desperately need.