Sadly disabled people often die earlier than is right - and it came as a shock to many people that Lesley Child died, completely out of the blue, from pneumonia in December 2004.
"It is important that we remember the disabled people who have contributed to the disability arts movement and have made it what it is. Lesley was on the LDAF committee for many years when I was editing Disability Arts In London (DAIL) Magazine and she always presented a cheery face and a supportive and enthusiastic voice. She had an indomitable excitement - especially when it came to supporting the Arts."
"Lesley's death has created a great gap in many people's lives, and in numerous groups and organisations. In the weeks since her untimely death, I have thought a lot about the Lesley I knew well for many years both as a colleague and close personal friend. She was a many-faceted individual and made her mark on the world in an extraordinary variety of ways.
Lesley is known for her long and deep commitment to the Disabled people's movement, her strong ethical and moral code, her creativity, her passion for social justice - and her wicked sense of fun. She was no armchair activist; this was the woman who would get stuck in and become involved in order to effect change. We're none of us perfect, and Lesley's forgivable flaw was to let her convictions and enthusiasm get the better of her and try to take on too much. Thus from time to time she'd end up spread too thinly as people clamoured for a share of her wisdom, knowledge, experience, infectious humour and sparkle.
Lesley had some years of real blossoming in her beloved London in the 1990s, thriving in the wonderful flat which she used as a focal point for much social activity, in her usual generous-spirited way. She belonged to, and was usually involved in some way in the running of, many Disabled people's organisations during that time. Key among those were the Trades Union Disability Alliance, the Alliance for Inclusive Education and of course LDAF, where she contributed to the management committee for many years. The world is a better place for having had Lesley in it. "
"I regret that I didn't know Lesley for longer than I did. Her sharp wit matched with wonderful warmth and interest in others was a rare gift that few possess. Lesley and I became friends primarily through the controversial Outsiders club, where we shared similar politically based ideals about disability, and worked together for a while to move things on within the club. I also knew Lesley through LDAF, where she served on the committee for some years. An ardent supporter of disability arts, Lesley always had an encouraging word and opinion for my work, which I greatly valued. While she lessened some of these activities with her move from London to the Midlands, it is impossible to overestimate the role dear Lesley played in so many lives. We will miss her always."