A long standing Habinteg tenant, Baroness Chapman of Leeds died peacefully yesterday evening at Leeds General Infirmary. Known as Nicky to her friends and colleagues, she first joined Habinteg’s Board in 2000. By 2006, she had become Chair of the association and has served Habinteg as a passionate and inspirational leader.
Sitting 2’9” in her wheelchair, Nicky’s physical difference was as hard to ignore as her outspoken views. Indeed Nicky openly used her body image to her advantage in her work, promoting the rights of disabled people, and in challenging perceptions about difference. With her naturally persuasive wit and passion, Nicky championed social inclusion, accessible design, independent living and services that suited people whatever their needs.
As Nicky has demonstrated by her own life, and through her determined engagement on these issues, independent living is possible for almost everyone and householders should no longer have to put up with homes and services that do not suit their needs.
“The housing sector and the wider world has lost a figurehead and a fighter.”
Mike Donnelly, Chief Executive, Habinteg Housing Association.