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Geoffrey Davison, much-loved co-founder of Norfolk charity Break, has died

PUBLISHED: 10:28 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:45 08 May 2017

Judith and Geoffrey Davison in 2002.  Picture: Sam Robbins

Judith and Geoffrey Davison in 2002. Picture: Sam Robbins

The much-loved co-founder of a Norfolk-based charity that helps children in need has died.

Geoffrey Davison, who lived in Sheringham for many years, was one of three people who started Break, which has supported thousands of vulnerable children, young people and families across the region for almost 50 years.

Mr Davison died aged 79 on April 27, having retired to County Durham.

A statement from his family said he was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather.

It read: “Geoffrey’s wisdom, compassion and enthusiasm for life was boundless.”

And Hilary Richards, Break’s chief executive, said: “Geoffrey was an amazing man and dedicated his life to enhancing the life prospects of those less fortunate than himself. ‘Mr D’ will be very much missed.”

Mr Davison, who was born in Darlington, spent his early career working for an engineering company, and Lotus Cars at Cheshunt in Hertfordshire.

In 1963 he was appointed assistant general secretary of the British Epilepsy Association, and he continued to support the association by leading their annual children’s holidays for another 12 years after becoming assistant director of the British Heart Foundation in 1966.

Mr Davison devoted himself to that role until 1967, developing and supporting the foundation’s regional fundraising activities throughout the UK.

In 1968, Mr Davison, his wife Judith, and their friend, the Rev Leslie Morley, registered the Davison Morley Trust, later called Break, as a charity.

Mr Davison spent 34 years developing Break’s much-needed services for vulnerable children and adults, and he was made an OBE for his work in 2012.

He was also a Queen’s Scout and group Scout leader.

Break continues to flourish and will reach its 50th anniversary in 2018.

Ms Richards said: “I am fortunate that I personally know all three of Break’s founders and have the utmost respect for them and the organisation that they have created. I consider myself privileged to be leading this organisation forward and that the charity remains true to the founding ethos and values of Geoffrey, Judith and Leslie.”

Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Davison? Email stuart.anderson@archant.co.uk

A force for good

Originally called the Davison Morley Trust when it was founded in 1968, Break bought its first permanent home, in Hunstanton, from The Children’s Society in 1971.

Named The Sandcastle, it welcomed 400 children with disabilities for holidays in its first year.

In 1973 the charity acquired two Sheringham properties, opening one immediately as Rainbow, to provide holidays to children with disabilities.

The charity has continued to expand and today offers a range or services for vulnerable children, young people in need, and families.

Break has six mainstream children’s homes in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, and a therapeutic fostering service offering placements to traumatised young people.

The charity has also led Norwich’s series of GoGo art trails, which have included GoGoGorillas! in 2013, GoGoDragons! in 2015, and the upcoming GoGoHares!, to celebrate the charity’s 50th anniversary, in 2018.

Visit www.break-charity.org for more.


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