Northampton charity pays tribute to volunteer who dedicated 16 years to helping others
Colleagues describe Tom as a ‘good listener’ and a ‘gentle man’
A Northampton charity has paid tribute to one of its volunteers who dedicated 16 years to helping others.
Tom Morrice from Ecton Brook volunteered for the Bridge Substance and Misuse Programme in Gold Street where he made a name for himself as a good listener.
The 68-year-old sadly died on September 25 at Northampton General Hospital after a short illness involving abscesses.
Colleagues from the Bridge programme are now paying tribute to Tom, who was well known to a lot of Northamptonians, particularly the town’s homeless and alcohol and drug users.
Bridget Carroll, Tom’s friend and manager at Bridge, said: “Tom volunteered for Bridge for more than fifteen years.
“Not once did he ask for anything in return. Not once did he refuse to give.
“He was a gentle man with a lightness of touch. His refusal to judge, his ability to care and his quiet insistence on doing the right thing, are things that we should all try to learn from.
“Tom rarely told his own story, partly because his stutter hindered his delivery but mostly because he was more inclined to listen than to speak. And listen he did.
“It would have been nice to hear him describe his journey. It would have been nice to hear him speak of the adversity that he faced, the lessons that he learned and the harsh truths that life taught him. But he would just smile and listen. Then he would listen some more.
“Tom had an intelligence that often went unnoticed and a wisdom that was rarely revealed.
“It’s hard to define a ‘good man’, but if you ever need an example then look no further.”
Tom, who was originally from Scotland, came to Northampton in the 1990s to attend a rehabilitation programme.
He ended up sleeping on the streets and was supported by the local alcohol agency at the time who helped him become sober and found him housing.
From then, Tom supported a lot of people to address their own problems and worked with charities until he was hospitalised.
Colleagues, friends and mentees of Tom came together to remember him and celebrate his life at Bridge in Gold Street on Friday (October 22).