TRIBUTES have been paid to a former head of a St Leonards charity, who died suddenly, aged 64.
John Evans worked at Seaview Project, based at the Southwater Centre in Hatherley Road for more than 20 years.
He became its chief executive until he left in 2005 but returned and continued working for the project until he retired and moved to Nottingham in January 2010.
The charity helps vulnerable people, such as those with mental health problems, drug problems and homelessness.
Mr Evans was given a Mayoral Award in 2005 for his work with the charity.
Sue Burgess, services manager for Seaview Project, said: “For more than 20 years John worked tirelessly in the interest of the Seaview Project and the people who use the services.
“John was the driving force behind Seaview and through passion, determination and hard work set up vital services that continue to make a difference to the lives of homeless and vulnerable people in the town today.
“John will be forever remembered at Seaview, he was a very special man and his legacy lives on.”
Steve Manwaring, director of Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA), said: “HVA worked closely with John over a long period and he was a trustee of this organisation for a while.
“His leadership of Seaview showed real courage and commitment and provided vital services for homeless and vulnerable people in Hastings for many years. John was a tireless advocate for a client group whose needs have often been overlooked and his presence will be much missed.
“The fact that there is still a thriving Seaview Project is a real tribute to John’s determination and sheer hard work. Our thoughts are with his family friends and colleagues and the many Seaview users who, in John, always felt they had someone ‘in their corner’ when it mattered.”
Seaview Project will be holding a memorial for Mr Evans on Wednesday (May 30) at 3.30pm.
For those who cannot attend and would like to add a message to the book of memories/condolences, they can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr Evans’ funeral took place on Monday, April 30 at Wilford Hill Crematorium in Nottingham. He died on April 14.