Tributes after Stevenage Forum co-founder dies

Headshot of Andy Adamson, co-founder of Facebook group The Stevenage Forum

Andy Adamson, co-founder of Facebook group The Stevenage Forum, lost his battle with cancer aged 65 - Credit: Courtesy of Tom Adamson

The co-founder of a popular community group created to foster inclusivity, connectivity and support among people in Stevenage has lost his three-year battle with cancer.

Andy Adamson, together with friend Sam Ridgewell, founded The Stevenage Forum Facebook group in 2017, and it now has more than 8,000 members.

With hundreds of posts each month keeping members connected, it has long played a significant role within the community, but especially during the pandemic.

Andy - an aerospace engineer who worked for British Aerospace, MBDA, Airbus and Astrium - was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. He lost his battle last Wednesday, aged 65, leaving behind his wife Deborah and son Tom.

Tom said: "He never complained and always looked to defy odds and expectations by overcoming whatever life-threatening challenges came his way, and fought for three years with bravery and strength.

"Throughout this, his one mission was to support Stevenage in any way he could and continue to provide support to The Stevenage Forum, even in the final weeks of his life.

"His motivations for creating The Stevenage Forum were to help old friends reconnect, new residents to feel welcome and the community to share ideas and keep up-to-date with news."

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The forum has seen an outpouring of grief at the news of Andy's death, with hundreds of comments and reactions from people remembering his community spirit and kindness.

Sam said: "The forum was our brainchild. We spent many nights messaging each other with different ideas and, one night, The Stevenage Forum was created. Andy was a big part of it and will be massively missed."

Andy was born in Scotland and moved to Stevenage in 1964, attending Broom Barns Primary School and The Heathcote School.

As well as the forum, he supported St Nicholas Community Centre, and was a volunteer with the Freewheelers in his youth. Tom said: "The Freewheelers were bikers who would get up at any time, in any weather conditions, to ride to blood banks in north London and pick up urgent blood for hospitals in Herts and Beds. This was testament to how much Dad enjoyed being part of a community and helping those in need."

'The heart of a town lies in its people', is Stevenage's motto, and Andy was certainly at the heart of his town.

A black and white photograph of Freewheelers with motorbikes

Andy with fellow volunteer Freewheelers in the late 1970s - Credit: Courtesy of Tom Adamson

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