John Ramsey, founder of the Association of Volunteer Managers, dies

Ramsey, former chair of the AVM, was 'the embodiment of all that was good about our sector', according to Justin Davis Smith of the NCVO

John Ramsey
John Ramsey

John Ramsey, founder of the Association of Volunteer Managers and a volunteering development manager at the charity Age UK, has died of cancer.

Ramsey chaired the AVM between 2005 and 2009 and continued to be actively involved in the organisation until his death on 20 September.

He started his career as a lawyer before he spent time volunteering in Uganda and then turned to the voluntary sector full time. He then spent 20 years working at organisations including Citizens Advice, Student Volunteering England and Age Concern before it became Age UK after its merger with Help the Aged.

Ramsey was also a trustee of Volunteering England, which became part of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in 2013, and a judge of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

A statement on the AVM website says: "Although his death was not unexpected, the loss is a profound shock to all who knew him. John was a tireless champion of volunteering and volunteer management.

"Without his passion, drive and energy, the Association of Volunteer Managers would not exist. A great volunteer manager himself, his gift was bringing people together from across the field to build the organisation that we are today."

Justin Davis Smith, the executive director of volunteering and development at the NCVO and former chief executive of Volunteering England, said in an online tribute to Ramsey: "John was the embodiment of all that was good about our sector; a fiercely independent spirit, an unbending commitment to social justice, and a profound belief in the capacity of individuals to make a difference to the lives of others.

"It was his people skills, and his ability to relate to and inspire all that he came into contact with, that was his greatest asset, and which made him such a brilliant volunteer organiser and manager."

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