Jim O'Hanlon, known affectionately by staff and students as "Soppy Jim" passed away recently after a short illness.
"Soppy" supported Cavendish School from the very beginning in 2000 and oversaw the development of the derelict building at Surrey Docks Stadium to create our original site. His building firm had operated for many decades and he worked for a variety of wealthy and celebrity clients. Many of his clients donated furniture and fixtures and fittings to the school as a result of Jim enthusing about the students and their potential.
It took almost four years to complete the site at Surrey Docks Stadium, mainly due to financial constraints which Jim was always happy to work within. During the building works he took on apprentices from the school and ensured that they learnt the necessary skills to progress into a trade of their choice.
Following the fire at Surrey Dock Stadium, Jim took upon it himself to find a new site along with the proprietor Cheryl Stepton. Together they found Lady Gomm House and Jim once again had a mammoth project to convert the building into a school.
Once the work at Lady Gomm House was complete Jim decided to retire and moved away from London to Milton Keynes where he indulged in his passion of fishing.
"Soppy" will be remembered fondly by all staff and students who had the pleasure of meeting him. He made us laugh, put us in our place, gave us constant support, and was an inspiration to our young people.