news

Tributes paid as 'selfless' Bolton Pride volunteer and campaigner dies aged 32

2015-12-23
Tributes have been to a "selfless" LGBT campaigner who has died just weeks after helping to organise Bolton's first ever Pride festival. Darren Batey, who worked as volunteers manager for the town's inaugural Pride event back in October and lived in Manchester, tragically passed away over the weekend, the North West Evening Mail reports. darren Darren's tireless commitment for LGBT causes included acting as an ambassador at One Young World and working with a number of other causes The Albert Kennedy Trust and Outdoor Lads. Back in September, he also hosted a birthday fundraising dinner in aid of Macmillan Cancer Research, Dementia UK, Toffs and Manchester Children's Hospital. Friends and former colleagues have been paying tribute to the young activist on social media - including Coronation Street's Anotony Cotton and Labour MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting, who knew Darren through their time at the National Union of Students. Condolences and messages of support were also sent by the charities which Darren worked so closely with. The Albert Kennedy Trust tweeted that they were "hugely saddened" by the loss, while Bolton Pride said they had been "so lucky" to have had him on the team. https://twitter.com/PrideBolton/status/679245700262154240 https://twitter.com/antonycotton/status/679083065336049666 https://twitter.com/AlbertKennedyTr/status/679073512183697408 https://twitter.com/wesstreeting/status/679073041444446209 https://twitter.com/CoopRespectLGBT/status/679297555264589824 https://twitter.com/PositiveLad/status/679064138761506816 https://twitter.com/johnwilliams77/status/679061389114257408 A crowdfunding appeal has been set up in Darren's memory called Darren's Farewell Fund, which has so far raised £5000 in 24 hours - the ultimate testament to a man who spent his life fundraising to improve life for others. David Apsley-Thompson, who set up the fund, wrote: "Darren touched the lives of so many people all over the world and had an amazing ability to bring people together. "His commitment to third sector fundraising and volunteering was beyond selfless and the impact he has had on so many lives is immeasurable and invaluable. "Darren sadly passed away over the weekend and has left a huge void in so many of our hearts, no one more so than his parents, sisters and family in Cumbria. "Darren put so many others before himself every day of his life, and now it's time to give back a little piece of the love he gave us all to help support his family through this difficult time and ensure Darren gets the send off he deserves." More stories: Steve Grande’s cover of ‘All I Want for Christmas’ is all kinds of adorable Why do people uae the phrase 'that's so gay? One woman finds out