Tributes to man who made dreams come true for sick children

Steve Ford at the 2016 Dudley Volunteer Awards

A local volunteer champion who helped bring a smile to the faces of over a thousand local sick children has died.

Steve Ford, who arranged ‘dreams come true’ trips for patients on the children’s ward at Russells Hall Hospital through his Wishing Well charity, was found at his home in Kingswinford on Boxing Day.

For more than 30 years, he helped youngsters with chronic or severe illnesses to live their dream, from flying on Concorde to meeting their pop star heroes.

Tributes have been pouring in from those who knew him.

Black Country Radio director, Dave Brownhill, who was a close friend of Mr. Ford, said: “I’ve known Steve for over 40 years as a volunteer at, first, The Guest Hospital and of course more recently at Russells Hall Hospital where he was almost a permanent fixture on the children’s ward.

“He would make children’s dreams come true. Anything from a Concorde ride to a racing car, anything a child wanted he would go out of his way to try and make their dream come true.

“He’ll be sadly missed.”

Mr. Ford won the Children and Families Award for his charity work at the Dudley Volunteer Awards in 2016.

He had been working with the organisation behind the awards, Dudley Council for Voluntary Services (DCVS), just days prior to his death to help with their annual Operation Santa project, which gives gifts to local children.

His boundless enthusiasm to help others emanated from his own medical problems, which saw him coping with psoriasis and arthritis since his early childhood, cutting short his working life and causing him to need hip replacements at the age of just 32.

Mr. Ford began volunteering at Dudley Hospital Radio in 1983, where he first got a taste for life on the children’s ward when he went to collect requests for the station’s listeners, before launching his charity six years later.

The exact cause of his death and details of his funeral are yet to be announced.

Black Country Radio understands that attempts had begun to try and get Mr. Ford, who had celebrated his 60th birthday in 2018, honoured by the Queen for his charity work.


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