Drink and Drugs News DDN November 2018 - Page 20

EndnotE They made Their mark The team at DDN were very sad to hear of the recent deaths of two ‘harm reduction heroes’ who made an impact on many. Activist and campaigner Grant McNally and Beryl Poole, much-loved peer advocate and a valued member of our DDN conference team each year, will be sorely missed. Losing some of the greats in the drug user activist field hits hard. Beryl Poole & Grant McNally were passionate and kicked wide open the doors for me and others to walk through. Anna Millington Beryl, bless her, was a rare and true individual. I learnt a lot from her. Steve Freer I'm very sorry to hear of the death of Beryl Poole - Another long-term harm reduction activist & friend of many. I'll miss your unassuming, self- deprecating, sometimes caustic wit – always, ‘to the point’ and down to earth. I'll also miss your Radio 4 recommendations and evident pleasure in having a grandson to spoil. Gill Bradbury 20 | drinkanddrugsnews | November 2018 Beryl was the first woman I ever formally organised with back in 1996 setting up self- organisation of drugs users in North west London. Our Brent Substance Users Rights Forum met regularly at the Junction Project, enabled by Sebastian Saville who ran the agency at that time. Each group began with a Burning Issues session, in case anyone had been arrested, beaten up or had their scripts ripped away from them. What I appreciated most about Beryl was her direction, always grounded in the reality of users’ lives, plus she was passionate about learning the ropes, but I have to admit that I learnt more from her. She could also lighten the group up when things got too serious. All her work with the Alliance: God knows how many people she supported there and all that work with DDN helping to organise the annual user conference. We have lost a great orator, carer, activist and comedienne. Andria Efthimiou-Mourdant Grant’s work and his passing was recently remembered by many in a large HCV Community Summit in Portugal. Everyone was deeply saddened as many remembered the years of hard work Grant had put into the HCV awareness cause. Grant was thought of by many around the world as a leading UK and European HCV activist and although his health took away much of his strength in recent years, he will always be remembered for his energy, insight and knowledge around bringing HCV awareness forward, indeed to the place it is today. Erin O’Mara Grant helped, and was held in high esteem by, people all over the world. Nick Goldstein www.drinkanddrugsnews.com