Tribute to John Ord

John sadly passed away suddenly on Saturday 6th November and will be greatly missed.

Whitley CDA (WCDA) first met John in 2012 after we secured Big Local Funding for community development and he was the representative of the Big Local. John quickly became a familiar face, connecting with locals effortlessly as he helped us kickstart WCDA and set us on our way to create sustainable change.

With John’s help and guidance WCDA and Reading University formed the Whitley Researchers and when John stepped down from his Local Rep role he remained a key figure in the community, leading the Whitley Community Researchers team in partnership with Reading University. 

Initially the research team was just over 12 students and residents who received training in Participatory Action Research. Participatory research focuses on working with local residents so that projects are run with communities, rather than about them which is at the heart of everything WCDA does.

In the first instance they carried out research on Whitley transport needs, with the aim of tackling deprivation and social exclusion by making people ‘more mobile and connected’. The final report – Working better with Whitley: exploring the everyday transport needs and experiences of local communities in South Reading – highlighted the biggest barriers to ‘getting around’ identified by residents and the report led to Reading Busses making critical changes. This is just one small example of how John always tried to positively work with the community.


John’s funeral will be held on Thursday 25th November 2021 12pm at South Oxfordshire Crematorium & Memorial Park Wantage Road, Abingdon, OX13 5PA

John’s family will be arranging flowers but if you would like to make a donation in his name please do go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/forjohnord here we will be collecting donations for the Disaster and Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Coronavirus appeal.

John lived his life improving the lives of other people, he worked tirelessly to be the change he wanted to see in the world and he would empower and support others to do the same whenever he could. DEC appeals support the people in the world who are the most vulnerable, they are often people we forget about, or whose plight continues behind the scenes of the world’s media. The COVID 19 pandemic has only intensified their already unimaginable experiences. Thank you to all who make a donation, however big or small, in John’s name.

“In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” Paul McCartney

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