Paul Kincade - a tribute
Updated: Jan 18
My friend, Paul Kincade, died this weekend. He will be missed by so many who have had the pleasure of meeting him.
There is a picture of Paul on the Everyman Theatre. He’s in the middle row. It represents his contribution to the arts in Liverpool. He helped hundreds of young people to bring out their talents in areas such as drama, writing and music. He was also an award winning Community Champion, an accolade he deserved for his work around various parts of the city.
I first met Paul in 1995 when he came to the school where I was working as a teacher. He came in that day to play a part in doing some mock interviews with students. Each one of them walked away from meeting him with a smile on their face. I took an instant liking to him and within six months we were having conversations about how we could collaborate.
A few years later I made the move into self-employment which led to Paul and I working more closely. We worked on projects funded by organisations such as Aim Higher and Comic Relief in different parts of the UK. Whether he was working with someone excluded from school, a young offender or a someone aspiring to become a musician, writer or artist, Paul always seemed to find ways to connect with people and get them to realise that they had a place in this world, a place where they could contribute and grow.
The word awesome is often over-used but in Paul’s case it was an apt description. I was certainly in awe of him. He never seemed to be afraid of anything or anyone. When we undertook these programmes I was happy to defer to Paul's expertise in the area of motivation. I learned so much from him. Perhaps the most important lesson being:
Not challenging someone to give of their best, means you're guilty of having low expectations.
Already social media is being flooded with tributes and Paul’s family have received some beautiful, heart-felt messages. I’m sure that there will be more to come, particularly from many of the young people and colleagues who worked with him at Malit, Savio High School and Liverpool WAC.
I’ll remember the laughs we had together such as the fight we witnessed one night in the street between two drunken men in London who used step ladders as their weapons of choice! I’ll remember the lessons Paul taught me about not labelling people and never giving up on them. I’ll remember the way he encouraged people to follow their dreams. He encouraged everyone.
It’s no secret that Paul had been in poor health for some time. He was in constant pain and in recent years has struggled with both his physical and mental health. He always hoped that he could make a strong enough recovery to contribute more to our work in schools and the wider community. I hoped to work with him again too, but sadly that was not to be. My enduring memory of Paul, a man who always wanted to help others and contribute to making the world a kinder, fairer place. Rest in Power my friend.
Andy Griffith 17 January 2020