A tribute to Garry Thomson

The whole team at SDF were extremely saddened to hear of the recent passing of one of our peer research volunteers, Garry Thomson, from Fife in recent weeks. Garry had been engaging with SDF for the past 12 months, taking part in induction training and two research and engagement projects. He was a highly valued volunteer, whose enthusiasm and warmth rubbed off on everyone he worked with.

Below are some thoughts and experiences from staff members who worked with Garry:

“He had such a humour and charm and played a huge role in recruiting three of the participants we still have involved in the study, all of whom were terribly sad to hear of his passing. Garry was extremely kind and understanding and provided a great listening ear to the participants when they discussed their life and their situations. He always responded with the right words, that you could see brought comfort…Garry really was a beautiful soul and spoke so wonderfully about the things he cared about most, his family and his passion for nature and learning. When he attended training and SDF events, he shared his knowledge and humour, and this will be so missed.” – Louise Horn

“Garry was such a special person that would light up the room whenever he did anything with us at SDF. Always cracking a joke (or 10) – it was never a dull time around Garry. He was such a valued member of the team who provided so many stories, so much life experience and learning and I will really miss him.” – Hannah Sinclair

“I had the honour of getting to know Garry from his induction training to SDF as a peer research volunteer where he engaged with learning new things and sharing his own knowledge. Garry was enthusiastic from the very first day and played a key role in various projects across Fife and Scotland wide such as people’s experiences of accessing treatment for alcohol use and people’s experiences of medication assisted treatment.  This work ultimately has helped improve front line services for people who use alcohol and drugs. Garry was such a pleasure to work with, he was incredibly kind and supportive of his peers and had a unique ability to put people at ease who were often sharing difficult experiences of their recovery. A true kind and compassionate soul who was a privilege to know. We will all miss him and are so grateful for all his work with us.” – Katy MacLeod

All of the staff and volunteers at SDF would like to pass on sincerest condolences and thoughts to Garry’s beloved family, friends and community at this difficult time.