Sheffield disabled rights campaigner loses cancer battle

Gerard Poole, who has died in St Luke's Hospice aged 27
Gerard Poole, who has died in St Luke's Hospice aged 27

A SHEFFIELD library worker who became a disabled rights campaigner whilst battling cancer has lost his battle against the illness.

Gerry Poole, aged 28, from Walkley, died in St Luke’s Hospice just a few weeks after taking part in the fundraising Starlight Walk in his wheelchair.

Tributes have been paid by groups including Sheffield Green Party, whose spokesman Eamonn Ward said: “Gerry was briefly a member of the Green Party but then chose to campaign outside of party politics.

“He gave all his energy to those needing help that he now leaves behind. He highlighted the many failings of the benefits system for those diagnosed with terminal illnesses, plus the injustice of cuts and longer qualifying periods in the coalition welfare reforms.

“And he was on the streets with UK Uncut highlighting the tax avoiders not paying their fair share while the disabled bear the brunt of the cuts. He achieved a lot in his final 16 months and inspired many people who will continue to campaign for fairness and equality.”

Sheffield University graduate Gerry wrote articles in the national press about the ‘injustice’ of how cuts are hitting the disabled, from his personal perspective whilst fighting his illness.

Details of Gerry’s funeral have not yet been revealed.