'An enormous tragedy' as housing director killed in avalanche
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
A housing association chief has described the death of one of the group's directors as an "enormous tragedy".
John Taylor, a director of resources at the Vela Group, was one of three Britons killed yesterday by an avalanche in the French Alps. They were climbing to raise money for St Leonard's Hospice.
In total, nine people were killed in the tragedy on Mont Maudit, near Chamonix.
North East housing group Vela was formed in 2010 as a result of a partnering between Tristar Homes and Housing Hartlepool.
Mr Taylor - who played a leading role in the creation of the Vela Group - had over 20 years’ experience in housing and construction.
At Vela, he was responsible for the group’s finances, human resources, corporate services and governance arrangements.
Cath Purdy, Chief Executive of the Vela Group, said: “This is an enormous tragedy and all of John’s many work friends have been left absolutely devastated by his death. He died doing something that he loved, climbing was his real passion. He was planning a charity expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro in February next year. Everyone at Vela shares with me an absolute sense of loss and sadness. Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s wife Karine and his two children at this incredibly sad time and we will offer them any support they need. John was a kind, gentle man, who was well-loved and always had time for his many friends. He was instrumental in creating the Vela Group and helping us to deliver quality homes for families across the Tees Valley.”
In addition to his group director role, he had been a mentor for the Prince’s Trust and for Teesside University’s Diversitees Scheme.