Obituary of Colin Rochester, 1942 – 2023

It is with great sadness that we are writing to you with the news that our friend and colleague Colin Rochester died on 16 February 2023.

Colin was an academic, teacher, practitioner, mentor, colleague, editor, author and thought leader with an independent and sharp mind. He helped establish and maintain key research institutions such as the Association for Research in the Voluntary and Community Sector (ARVAC) in 1978, the Voluntary Action History Society (VAHS) in 1991, the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) in 1996 and the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) in 1997. In each of these organisations he collaborated convivially, leading with kindness and offering critical thought, bringing up the next generation of researchers and practitioners.

He was head of Cambridge House and Talbot Settlement in London (1978-1987), a lecturer at LSE (1987-2000) and later led a course at Roehampton University (1999-2007). He was Honorary Academic Advisor to IVR (2007-2012) and was awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership of ARVAC in 2021. Since 2018 he had been an Honorary Research Fellow with the Centre for Philanthropy, University of Kent.

To honour his memory and to highlight his spirit of collaboration, kindness and conviviality the four institutions he helped to establish plan to jointly organise a memorial seminar later on in the year, more news of which will follow in due course. In the meantime, we have set up a padlet page, for anyone who would like to share their reflections and memories of Colin. The page will stay open for a week, at which point we will send it to Colin’s family.

Jurgen Grotz & Mike Locke, the Institute of Volunteering Research

Angela Ellis Paine & Jon Dean, Voluntary Sector Studies Network

Ellie Munro & Bob Snape, Voluntary Action History Society

The Association for Research in the Voluntary and Community Sector (ARVAC)

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