ASSIST Sheffield

Challenging asylum destitution

Remembering Richard Hanson, Night Shelter volunteer

It is with great sadness that I have to inform everyone of the sad passing away of Richard Hanson, a Wednesday welcomer, at The Night Shelter.

Richard was a member of Christ Church. He and other members of the church community were instrumental in the setting up of the Night Shelter way before it became part of ASSIST.

He was a regular volunteer as a welcomer, every Wednesday, except on days that he would be away on business trips because his profession as a photo-journalist, involved a lot of travelling to Africa, The Caribbean and Europe to name just a few places that I know he had visited on occasions he told me that he would be away. He and his wife were also very actively involved with “The First Thursday Of The Month International Meal” at Christ Church. They only stopped attending when Richard’s health started deteriorating rapidly for the worse.

In 2008 he went to cover the aftermath of the terrible earthquake in Haiti and took a lot of iconic photographs for which he held a brilliant photography exhibition at The Scotia Works Showroom here in Sheffield.

He was also associated with The Conversation Club and applied and was granted funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund to do The Asylum Voices, a project that sought to highlight the plight of asylum seekers. Through this project, he intended to do another exhibition here in Sheffield with Conversation Club members, mainly asylum seekers and refugees participating through photography and story telling about their experiences.

Sadly, late in 2012, he travelled to Kenya to cover the last Kenyan elections and when he came back he felt unwell upon which he was diagnosed with leukaemia from which he never recovered.

Richard was 45 years old and leaves behind a wife Ingrid, and two children in their early teens.

Richard will be sadly missed.