A dedicated community activist, who spent decades aiming to improve lives, has died.

Dave Stannard, chairman of Loughton Broadway Town Centre Partnership, lost a long battle with cancer on his 70th birthday last week.

Tributes described Mr Stannard’s “invaluable” contribution and “great influence” on the area.
He had been active in the community for at least 40 years, organising events, serving as a councillor and supporting campaigns.

Despite his deteriorating health, he continued to be active in the community and was recently involved in the campaign to save the Sir Winston Churchill pub in The Broadway from development.

He was particularly active in the Debden area and was the driving force behind events including the annual Debden Day.

Councillor Leon Girling, who represents Loughton Residents Association, paid tribute to Mr Stannard describing his contribution as "invaluable".

He said: “He carried on going and organising events even when he was in the poorest of health.

“Sometimes when people are that ill they give up and rest, but he wasn’t the kind of person to stop and rest. It says a lot about him as a person.”

Other business owners came forward to pay tribute to Mr Stannard.

Kevin Taylor, owner of Taylor’s Cards, said the community would feel the loss of such a supportive figure, adding he and staff would be holding a two-minute silence in his honour.

“He was a terrific man who helped me out tremendously when I was opening my business," she said. 

"He was a great influence down this street and the traders are going to miss him terribly.

“My thoughts go out to his family – you can’t replace a man like Dave.”

Owner of Flower Elegance, Linda Knight, said Mr Stannard always managed to see the bright side of things, despite his ongoing cancer treatment.

She said: “Whenever we went to the town partnership meetings he would always crack a joke to help break the ice.

“He helped the businesses out tremendously.”

Mr Stannard’s funeral will be held on June 6 with a full procession along The Broadway at 2.25pm, followed by a committal at Forest Park Crematorium for family and close friends.

There will then be a service at Epping Forest Community Church at 4pm which everyone is welcome to attend.

The family have requested donations to St Clare’s Hospice, Harlow, instead of floral tributes.

Donations can be made by going online to www.stclareshospice.co.uk/make-a-donation or calling 01279 773700.