My pal and mentor Jeff Dunn, who has died aged 69 of prostate most cancers, was a trainer who established and ran the Liverpool Colleges’ Parliament, a discussion board that brings kids collectively to debate points that have an effect on them.
The parliament has allowed a whole lot of younger individuals from the Merseyside space to work with decision-makers on political issues, and has led to some essential adjustments – such because the institution of Liverpool’s MyTicket initiative, a subsidised journey scheme for under-16s.
Conferences of the parliament are sometimes held within the council chamber of Liverpool city corridor, and Jeff additionally organized for younger individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds to go to the European parliament and the worldwide legal courtroom.
Jeff was born in Wheatley Hill, County Durham, to Bob, a faculty caretaker, and his spouse, Lydia, who managed a bakery. He went to AJ Dawson grammar faculty in Co Durham after which accomplished a historical past diploma at Liverpool College, earlier than changing into a main faculty trainer at Croxteth faculty in Liverpool in 1976.
After spells at Carr Lane and Broadgreen faculties within the metropolis, he joined Liverpool metropolis council’s training division, the place he got here up with the thought of the Liverpool Colleges’ Parliament. As soon as it was given the go-ahead, he turned liable for establishing and operating it, and till his retirement in 2019 was its director.
He and I met in 2013, after I was a pupil collaborating within the parliament’s deliberations, and I used to be instantly impressed by his dedication to giving younger individuals a voice, participating them in determination making and serving to them to grow to be knowledgeable residents. He did this all whereas by no means sharing his opinions, as a substitute encouraging these he labored with to type their very own views.
Except for his work with the council, in his spare time Jeff volunteered as a trustee of a number of charities, together with the Michael Causer Basis, a charity for younger LGBT individuals.
Regardless of encouraging many younger individuals to extraordinary heights, he normally remained within the background and his efforts typically went unrecognised, though in 2020 he turned a Citizen of Honour of the Metropolis of Liverpool.
His legacy lives on by means of all the exceptional issues that the kids he impressed are actually doing as adults.
He’s survived by his sister, Glynis.