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Tributes paid to Medway Scout leader Vince Riddell

By Amy Nickalls

Vince Riddell was leader of Medway 11th Scout Group after joining 20 years ago.

The 59-year-old suffered for several years with autoimmune pancreatitis – a rare condition that affects the pancreas – and died of liver functioning disorder on August 25.

This was him. Playful and fun, says his daughter Amanda

"This was him. Playful and fun," says his daughter Amanda

He was married to Sue for 25 years and they had seven children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Daughter Amanda Bell, 28, said: “To me he was like a real- life superhero.

“He would do anything for anyone and once you met him you wouldn’t forget him.

“He’s an inspirational man and he meant so much to everyone.

“We’re all so proud of him; he was one of life’s greats.”

A JustGiving page has been set up for friends and family to donate to the Scout group.

David Knight became qualified as the new group leader just before Mr Riddell’s death. He hopes they can raise enough money to buy the land where the Scout hut is in Boundary Road, Chatham.

Vince with his wife Sue

Vince with his wife Sue

He said: “We’ve started with a target of £200 which would replace our marquee but if we’re lucky we can fulfil his biggest dream of buying the land.

“He tried before but it’s hard to get such a big deposit together – in total the land will cost £30,000.

“I started volunteering 18 years ago and it was because of him.

“We were having a casual conversation one day and he said ‘we’re looking for a Scout leader’.

“He gave me the confidence and the push to realise I could do it and it was a really pivotal moment for me.

“It’s the reason I started working with children and became a foster parent. It was all down to meeting him.

Vince with his brothers and sisters

Vince with his brothers and sisters

“That was the kind of person he was. He’d give people the confidence they needed to achieve things.

“Vince was a real doer. He wasn’t one of these leaders that sat back, he was always involved.

“It was a great way to inspire people.”

You can donate to the JustGiving page by searching on the website Vince 11th Medway Scouts.

Mr Riddell’s funeral will be held at Bluebell Crematorium on Monday, at 9.45am. Family and friends are invited to the Walnut Tree Club in Gillingham from 11am.

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