ADASS received the following note from George Jackson, formerly Director of Social Services for Northumberland County Council.
It is with much sadness that I am reporting to ADSS the death this week of Robert Neville Hankinson, who was one of the original Directors appointed by the Sunderland Borough Council during the autumn of 1970 following the legislation that gave effect to the principal recommendations of the report by Sir Frederick Seebohm on Local Authority and Allied Personal Social Services.
I recall that Robert and I were amongst the first half dozen of Directors who were thus appointed when informed opinion was inclined to regard the legislation as being more an act of faith rather than just an Act of Parliament.
Robert Hankinson and I were involved in creating the original Northern Branch of ADSS and were closely associated both as personal friends and colleagues. I always regarded him as being an able exponent of his chosen profession and a worthy ambassador for the service he represented so well.
I doubt that there are now many surviving ex-Directors from the initial 1970 intake so Bob is unlikely to be widely known among contemporaries. Nevertheless you may agree that his death should not be allowed to pass without some recognition of his achievements as one of the early pioneers.
At the time of his death he had just celebrated his 85th Birthday and his funeral will take place in St George's Church, Sunderland on 26 January at 2pm.
The Association has sent condolences to Robert’s widow and family.