Nick Danagher, a leading disability activist in the UK disability rights and Independent Living Movement for almost 20 years, sadly passed away on 6th July.
He had travelled up from his home in the South of England to attend a meeting in Manchester. He admitted himself into the Manchester Infirmary Hospital with chest pains and sadly died shortly after his admission.
Nick will be a huge immeasurable loss to the disability rights movement of the UK and beyond. He was not only active in his area of Surrey and the South-East of England but also nationally and Internationally, as a leading disability spokesperson. He was on a number of influential bodies including government groups, committees and Disability NGOs.
He had been very active from the early days of the development of the Independent Living Movement particularly during the 1990s. He was part of the BCODP (British Council Of Disabled People) Independent Living Committee which was the main group that fought for direct payments legislation in order that this was available for all disabled people, regardless of their impairment and of where they lived. This group also set up NCIL. He later became the director of NCIL after being the Chief Executive of SILC (Surrey Independent Living Council) in his local area.
After an accident he had to resign from NCIL but following his recovery he immediately immersed himself back into the world of disability rights, setting himself up as an independent disability consultant and activist. During this period he was a member of the Equality 2025, which was set up by the Government in the hope that by 2025 all disabled citizens of the UK would have equality of opportunity like other citizens.
At the time of his death he had been working as a development officer on a new project for SENDPO(South East Network of Disability Organisations), which was strengthening the development of disabled people’s organisation throughout the 19 Counties of South East England. He was also a Trustee of the ILF (Independent Living Fund).
Nick was a member and a great advocate for ENIL and took part in the ENIL Freedom Drive in 2007. Personally I will not only miss him as a very effective strategist and colleague in the disability movement but more as a very close and good friend, whom I have many warm memories of. He was indeed a very gentle, humerous and kind man. We have been overwhelmed by all the many tributes coming in about him, which says a lot about his character and legacy to Independent Living. Our condolences are with his family.
John Evans OBE