Passionate supporter of LGBT community

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A FOUNDER member of Hastings and Rother Rainbow Alliance (HRRA), Ambrose O’Boyle will be remembered for his passionate support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community.

Ambrose, 71, passed away in hospital on August 2 from a cancer related illness.

His civil partner Les Tostevin, also a founder member of HRRA, said: “Ambrose was a kind and supportive man who made a special effort to help people in need.

“His dedication and commitment to equalities was to be admired; he will be greatly missed.”

Ambrose moved from London to Hastings to work as a mental health social worker about 15 years ago. Born in Northern Ireland, in his earlier life he had spent time as a monk in Ireland and Scotland. He had a variety of jobs before becoming a nurse, which led him eventually to social work.

Mary Benton HRRA secretary said: “Ambrose was an energetic and persistent campaigner for LGBT rights.”

“He strongly believed we should not always have to be coming out to agencies like health, adult care and police, but that they should come out to us, that is be more proactive and sensitive to LGBT needs.

Steve Manwaring, director of Hastings Voluntary Action, paid tribute to “a man of integrity with many interests who will be remembered for his compassion, commitment, kindness, determination and humour.”

A celebration of Ambrose’s life took place at Hastings Crematorium on August 14, and the rainbow flag flew at half-mast over the town hall.

Donations should be sent to Bluebell Ridge (RSPCA) Cat Rehoming Centre, c/o Banfield and Pomphrey Funeral Directors, 476 Old London Road, Hastings, TN35 5BG.