Larger than life, full of enthusiasm for any project he tackled and a stalwart of his community, family and friends said goodbye to Andrew Halewood on Monday.
Andrew, who was 59, passed away at Calderdale Royal Hospital in September and a colourful celebration of his life was held at a service at Park Wood, Elland.
A former Mytholmroyd White Lee ward councillor on Hebden Bridge Town Council, Andrew, of Cleveley Gardens, was passionate about his community in the village his family chose to make their home, and friends have organised a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a bench with plaque in his memory. You can log on to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/halewoodhelpers to make a contribution.
The organisers said: “Andrew was a very caring man that devoted his life to his local community and much loved family. His passing was unexpected and comes as a huge shock to everyone that knew him. We would like to arrange for a memorial bench to be made and placed within the community to enable those that either knew him or were affected by his work to honour and remember him.”
Andrew grew up in Warrington, Cheshire, lived for a time in North Wales and later in Didsbury, Manchester, where one of his neighbours was Shaun Ryder of the band Happy Mondays, source of some of the stories he loved to tell and, as only he could, tell them well. Working for a Manchester-based management company when he met his wife Blanch, they moved to Mytholmroyd in September 2000. He became involved with the team organising Mytholmroyd Gala. Although the gala ended this summer, money is being given out to Mytholmroyd community groups and gala chairman George Sumner presented the Tae Kwon-Do group with £250 on Andrew’s behalf after he requested they be given some help.
Andrew helped out with fellow villagers following the devastating Boxing Day 2015 floods, and with his professional background in financial and debt management was known for helping people find solutions to their problems.
His wife Blanch said: “If he could help someone, he would.”
After retiring from debt management, he set up his own telemarketing business and had natural drive for public relations which he often used to help community groups. He was also involved with The Adoption Society, serving on a regional panel and was very passionate about its good work. Andrew leaves his wife, Blanch, children Leanne and Matthew, and a community which will miss, but not forget, his presence.