In memory of Andy

One of our facilitators, Andy, passed away after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

A member of GMG since 2012, Andy C or by his own words Handy Andy, with his no-nonsense and plain talking style, quickly established himself as a valuable member of the group, joining the facilitation team from April 2013.

Always welcoming new members into the group, with humour and hugs. A cheeky chappy if ever there was one.

He had been a very loyal and essential member, through generosity of heart and contribution in every way, even when his own health has been up and down. The last few months in particular, but he has always been there for other people not only during the group time but from friendships forged thereon.

In typical bravura Andy has come in to facilitate the group, even when has not felt at his best, he valued what the group was able to do for others and also the social aspect.

We will miss him dearly.

Messages

Andy was an absolute gentleman, who always welcomed me and everyone else in GMG with a lovely smile and some kind words. He will be very much missed. RIP Andy x

Andrew B
GMG Member

Although having only been to one meeting with the group, it was the most memorable and truly uplifting evening. One you just don’t forget. I was hoping that Andy wasn’t the guy with the one hand, who lead the evening when I was there, as he was far too young and had the most incredible personality ever, in fact playing a huge part of the chemistry of the night.

Lots of love …

Kristian
GMG Member

Handy Andy. He joined the group by the time I had left London, but I have followed the group’s activities since. Andy wrote to me a few times direct. Such a lovely man. I am sure he will be missed not just by the group in London, but also by those who kept touch from outside of London. RIP Andy and thank you for your kindness, it reached beyond London and was appreciated. With fond memories and love, xccx.

Robin
GMG Member

To a very special friend, RIP.

Martin
GMG Member

Extremely saddened to hear this. Was always a pleasure to be in his company. Someone always willing to give good advice and to help others. thank you. His great soul lives on. X

Colin W

Happy Trails Bubba.

Scott S
GMG Member

It is extremely sad that we lost Andy Coleman so young. He was a dynamic character, who had a unique ability to make people feel welcome and wanted. He cared a great deal about the Gay Men’s Group (GMG) and made several strong friendships through it.

On a personal level, he was very kind to me and I’ll never forget that kindness. I’ll miss him very much – one of life’s true free spirits.

Rest in Peace Bubs.

Andy L
GMG Member

I’m devastated to be reached by the sad news that Andy left us. RIP mate.

Tonny in Sweden
GMG Member

Dear Andy, the World without you. Sad. Rest in Peace bro, šŸ™ xx

Bernard
GMG Member

A naturally generous and truly caring man, who welcomed me to the group with an open heart and a wicked aside. You brought honesty and humour to sometimes difficult discussions, and gave your wise counsel and energy to me and others. You showed a fearless determination to confront injustice, fight prejudice and demand equality for all. A gentleman, an inspiration and a hell of a laugh – I am honoured to have known you. Thank you Andy.

Guy S
GMG Member

I will never forget when I came to the group and spoke of the AIDSMemoryUK campaign and Andy told his personal story about residual guilt and contained emotions. Andy was moved to tears when he connected his sadness felt by those left behind after 9/11, his partner who died in that tragedy and all his friends he lost to AIDS in the 80s and 90s. He was so honest, it was beautiful. Rest in Peace Andy, a kind, brave, warrior.

Ash
GMG Member

I am so sad to hear this news about Andy, I so hoped it was a mistake, a misunderstanding. Such a kind compassionate man who has helped us, done so much good helping others and dealing with such wicked evil, that must have been so difficult and draining given his own experiences. I shall miss him, the hug and the kind words that helped bring me back from a dark lonely place.

Peter C
GMG Member

Goodbye Andy. Thank you for your openness, your bravery, challenging bullies and your caring nature – calling people to check that they were okay. I hope Andy’s anti-bullying ethos doesn’t die with him. We appreciated all you did, probably more so, now that you’re gone. I’m struggling to accept it to be honest.

Michael M
GMG Member

From the introduction of the group ‘Swear box’ (which quickly became re-appropriated for Jelly Beans/Babies), and Andy’s many escapades out on the Heath or down the Backstreet bar. With typical candour about his own difficult upbringing andĀ overcoming self-consciousness from visible disability, he took on the world with a smile and humour, even calling himself Handy Andy.Ā A big heart and personalityĀ to match, his character has lived large within the group for the past five years. Andy grew up a fighter, in turn he knew exactly how to support others and to put them at ease, from a simple hug, to going out of his way to phone or meet group members and check in on them when he saw the need. He will remain with us all for always.

Al
GMG Member

Iā€™m still numb with shock. Andy was a kind and generous man to so many people. I valued his insight, advice and guidance when I needed it. I will miss him dearly. Rest In Peace, Andy xxx

Steve
GMG Member

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