A tribute to popular community figure ‘Skip’

A tribute to popular community figure ‘Skip’
21st October 2019 Amanda Bhavnani
John Papworth

John ‘Skip’ Papworth MBE was a Greenfields resident who was much-loved in his home town of Kelvedon and far beyond for his volunteer work to help countless people – leading to him receiving an MBE in 2005. He passed away peacefully on Wednesday 26th June 2019, leaving behind his daughter and two grandchildren.

Skip was best known for being the Town Crier, following dressing up at a Medieval Fair in Witham in 1985. After really “getting into the spirit of things” Skip was officially asked to dress up as a Town Crier the following year at the same fayre, and the rest is history, with many competitions and official appearances to follow over the next 25 years. Skip also led many carnivals across the region, ranging from Witham to Walton-on-the Naze!

Since he was 18, Skip has been volunteering for scout groups, leading to a lengthy and successful career as a scout leader. He was so successful that 50 years later, he was awarded the Silver Acorn, one of the highest awards in Kelvedon.

Other strings to his bow included being a handyman, decorator, chimney sweep, window cleaner, caretaker, lollipop man and photographer.

Skip also took the time to volunteer for Greenfields as a Community Voice for more than 10 years, being a contact point for residents living in his scheme in Kelvedon for any questions about their homes and housing service.

In 2017, Skip was honoured by his community with two tribute concerts. More than 80 performers from groups including the Kelvedon Dance Studio, Kelvedon Players and Feering Singers took part in the heart-felt event at the Kelvedon Institute.

Sandra Crosby, Greenfields’ Executive Director for Housing & Customer Services, said: “Skip was well-liked by our staff and other volunteers, and we really appreciate the time he gave up to help us and people in his community. He was a pleasure to work with and he is missed.”

Find out about volunteering opportunities available with Greenfields by clicking on this link: Get involved