Roger Crouch RIP
Publish Date: 29/11/2011
Anti-Bullying Campaigner and Stonewall Hero of the Year Roger Crouch passed away last night. The LGF's Joanne Dunning talks about their inspirational meeting and the impact of his work.
"It was with great sadness and shock that I learnt this morning that Roger Crouch passed away last night.
It seemed like he was only just getting the recognition he deserved for his anti-bullying work, this month he was named Stonewall Hero of the Year, and had been promoting the work of Diversity Role Models at The House of Commons in his role as patron of the new charity.
It was earlier this year that I first came across Roger, I was reading a report about Roger's son Dominic who tragically took his own life in 2010 after rumours circulated at school that he was gay, Dominic was 15.
Roger got in touch with us to offer his support to The Lesbian & Gay Foundation's Enough is Enough! Action Against Homophobia campaign.
It was in May that my colleague Grahame and I met with Roger at his home just outside Cheltenham, and his very enthusiastic dog Crash (named after Dom's favourite computer game) - who over the course of the day was to take quite a shine to the unsuspecting Grahame.
Both Grahame and myself were struck by Roger's warmth, hospitality and utter bravery - he was opening up to us about the most difficult of subjects - but he was just so determined to get the message out about schools doing more to challenge bullying and becoming safe and welcoming spaces for all pupils.
He was particularly aware of the prevalence of homophobic bullying - Dominic didn't identify as gay - but the rumours that circulated at school that he was gay were the catalyst that led to his death.
Over the course of our day in Cheltenham, Roger recorded a video for the Enough is Enough! campaign - he spoke about Dom's life, the impact of bullying, and spoke out in support of anti-bullying projects including the LGF's Safer Schools Packs.
Since then we've stayed in touch by email and I've watched as he got the recogntion he so richly deserved.
Meeting Roger and his hearing his story was definitely one of those moments when your sense of purpose is reinforced, and you become even more committed to challenging bullying and promoting understanding.
Roger's wife Paola posted on facebook this morning "The changes you have started, for young people everywhere, the work you have done against bullying will remain as a towering monument to you."
Those changes range from improving suicide prevention strategies, to raising awareness of all forms of bullying from grass roots to the highest level.
My thoughts, and the thoughts of everyone at The LGF are with Roger's wife Paola and his daughter Guilia and all their family."
Nearly 10, 000 people have watched the video we made with Roger, please visit: http://bit.ly/rXZ7HZ
Or to read Roger's story A Father's Story visit http://bit.ly/skrtx0