A Wigan man hailed as ‘an inspiration’ to thousands of Lancashire youngsters as a youth worker has died just a year after taking early retirement.
Ron Blenkinship spent almost his entire working life helping teenagers and young people in schools and youth centres across Penwortham, Lostock Hall and Leyland.
Tributes for the 59-year-old father-of-two, who originally trained as a professional actor, are pouring in, including many from young people he inspired and empowered through his 28-year career, ,
He died at home in Leigh, after losing a short battle against lung cancer. Angela, his wife and daughters, Beth, 28, and Rachel, 24, were by his side.
John Gordon, head of Lancashire County Council’s Young Peoples Service, said: “He used arts work as a powerful tool to help young people achieve their potential.
“He will be greatly missed; however he leaves a legacy of skilled and talented people continuing the excellent work that he provided.”
Andy Bennison, 49, knew Ron for 25 years both as a colleague and friend. Now working at a local hospice, Andy is one of many people who have remained involved in youth work because of Ron’s influence.
He said: “I learned so much from him. I have come across a lot of youth workers in my time, but never met anyone like him. He was someone young people could absolutely relate to.”
Ron’s funeral was held on Thursday at 10am at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Leigh.