Tributes pour in for Tunisian massacre victim

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Tributes have been paid to John Stollery, the Nottinghamshire County Council social worker who was killed during the Tunisian terrorist attacks last week.

John, who was from Walesby, worked for the council for 33 years and for the last 16 years was dedicated to working with children in care.

He was on holiday with his wife Cheryl and son when the attack took place.

Fellow social workers and some of the children John supported during his career have paid tribute to him.

Tributes have included:

Paige – 13 years old

He was my social worker and the best one around. John made me realise that my dreams could become reality. For that I am truly grateful. John will be greatly missed by me as he has known me my whole life. He really was considerate and kind. He was well and truly the best social worker I have and will ever meet.

Kienan – 16 years old

“John was always a jolly, selfless person. He was my SureStart mentor and made some parts of my childhood fun and enjoyable. I will always remember when John used to make me cheesy crumpets for breakfast...they were the best. I have fond memories of the time he took me to Gullivers Travels by suprise. John has had a significant impact on the young man I have matured into. I will miss seeing John”

Social worker Joanne Forman, John’s colleague:

“What do you say about such a very special colleague?

“I first met John in 2013 when I started work for Nottinghamshire Children’s Services as a newly qualified social worker. John always had time for everyone no matter how busy he was, to f offer support/advice or a shoulder when things got tough. His family and the young people he worked with were always his priority and he always went that extra mile! Many evening he was in the office until the cleaner kicked us out making sure “his kids” got what they needed.

“He was so looking forward to going on holiday with his wife and son and joked about the tan he would have when he got back.

“I will miss his friendly face, his humour, his ability to make things feel better, the ringtone on his personal mobile and the chocolate that he always had in his locker.

“John was an exceptional Social Worker, family man and special colleague. We will always miss him.

Social workers Jayne Taylor, Owen Pout, Robert Blackburn – close colleagues of John

“It is hard to summarise what kind of person John was, he was a dedicated social worker and was known to fight hard for the children and young people he supported. Many of his young people recognised how hard he worked for them and knew that they could rely and depend upon him at any time.

“He was liked and respected by his colleagues and as one of the more experienced members of our team many saw him as a mentor and their ‘go to man’. John was respected as long serving member of staff and the team has been overwhelmed by the volume of tributes received from other professionals that have worked with him over the years.

“But John was more than a social worker he was kind, thoughtful and generous with his time and chocolate. He would go out of his way to boost morale during stressful times. He understood the value of being friends as well as colleagues and was the organiser of nights out especially if it involved a curry.

“John would often share stories of his life adventures of times before social work. It was always clear he was also how devoted he was to his family as he talked lovingly about his wife and son who had a special place in his heart.

John was a unique character and will be truly missed by all who knew him.

Chris Moody – Social Work Support Officer

“His young people loved him and he was a surrogate Dad to many of them. Nothing was ever too much trouble for one of “his kids”. They were part of his extended family. He was passionate about his work and always went the extra mile to support them and their families.

“His phone was never switched off at 5 o’clock and he was always happy to speak to and support his young people out of hours, particularly when they were going through a difficult time. He has touched and enriched the lives of so many young people over the years, I really don’t know how they are reacting to the tragic news of his death. They will be devastated.

“At work there was a regular group of four of us who stayed behind after 5 o’clock and this group has tragically now been reduced to three and I know we are all struggling to come to terms with the huge void that is now part of our world. John made a difference to everyone’s lives and always gave of his best to others including his colleagues, fellow professionals and service users. He was a true gem and our world at work and the wider world will be a sadder place without him. I will forever treasure my fond memories of him and he will never be forgotten.”