Remembering St Basils worker Dave Bygrave
17 FEB 2017

Dave BygraveDave Bygrave worked at St Basils for 20 years and retired in 2015. Dave’s health had been declining over the last few years and he sadly passed away on the 8th January 2017. Dave’s colleagues at the Youth Hub wish to share their thoughts with those of you who may have not him known him well.

Dave’s funeral was held on the 6th February 2017 and he would have enjoyed the irony that this was immediately after the final live gig held by Black Sabbath. Many people will be aware that Dave was an avid Sabbath fan and particularly enjoyed the exploits of their flamboyant and eccentric frontman, Ozzy Osbourne; Dave had a mischievous sense of humour and Ozzy’s antics would appeal to this.

Less well known may be the fact that Dave somehow cajoled Black Sabbath, one of the world’s leading bands, into holding a charity concert on behalf of St Basils. On reflection, this was an admirable feat and a wonderful occasion: fans got to see their favourites in concert, St Basils received a handsome donation which benefitted young and vulnerable people, Dave had the chance to get up-close and personal with his idol, and, of course, Ozzy had the opportunity to meet Dave.

Now, the fact the Black Sabbath will no longer be touring does not mean they will be forgotten; people will remember attending their concerts, many musicians will continue to be influenced by their example, and their music will continue to be played. Black Sabbath have left a legacy as, we believe, has Dave.

Like all of us Dave wasn’t perfect (after all, he was an Aston Villa supporter) and like most of us, he didn’t pretend to be perfect. Dave had had his ups and downs, his physical and emotional health periodically created challenges, and money was never plentiful. Dave’s legacy is that despite the challenges he faced, he always did his best and, in doing so, reaffirmed his commitment to those qualities of compassion, kindness, and courage. Dave was totally focussed on advocating for the interests of the young and vulnerable people he supported, he was loyal to St Basils and his colleagues, and he was devoted to his family.

Perhaps our feelings can be best summed up by a young person who recently presented at the Youth Hub. Billy is a young man who first came to see us when he was sixteen. He is now 24 and although we have not seen him for a couple of years, he is again in need of some support. On hearing of Dave’s passing, Billy expressed his sadness adding “ Dave was a good bloke “. Those 5 simple words, coming from the lips of a young person he had previously supported, are an epitaph Dave would be immensely proud of.

R.I.P. Dave and thank you so much.

Submitted by St Basils staff member Jim Garvey