Over the weekend we have been informed of the sad news that John Borthwick has passed away. For those who didn’t know, John was a voluntary director for FRONTLINEdance for 19 years.

Born in Yorkshire, and at the age of 17, John had an accident that left him with a high-level spinal cord injury. John worked as a Computer programmer, Data analyst, Project manager, Business analyst, Business and Management consultant, Company Director and Non-Exec Director on NHS Trust. A job opportunity around 23 years ago, meant that he became resident in Stoke-on-Trent.

Rachael, our Artistic Director and Co-founder, met John through his National Spinal Cord Injury Care company – she went to work for him as a live-in carer in 2000. Luckily for Rachael, John had lots of experience setting up charities and businesses, so John helped Rachael and Mike set up FRONTLINEdance in 2001. He became FRONTLINEdance’s first voluntary director, a position he held until he became very unwell. He volunteered his time on many occasions for FRONTLINEdance and served terms as Treasurer and Chair. John was a constant support to Rachael for the 22 years that she knew him.

John did all of this alongside other voluntary work. This included being a non-executive director of NHS Primary Care Trusts, he’d been the chair of local disability charity, Disability Solutions, and a Patient Representative on two National Institute of Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline Development Groups.

From 1981-2014 he was the Trustee/Director of a national charity, Spinal Injuries Association where he served two three-year terms as national Chair and four three-year terms as Vice-Chair. The Spinal Injuries Association was very important to John. His first AGM with them was in 1974. He also gave his time and support to fellow spinal cord injured individuals; helping them fight for what they needed.

John has been such a great support to FRONTLINEdance since our story began. He will be greatly missed. FRONTLINEdance would like to send lots of love to John’s family and his other friends.

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