YMCA Burton have been observing a period of mourning this week after Sean Killion a long serving member of staff died suddenly at his home on Monday 3rd August.
Sean Killion (55) a well-known figure in the community worked as a Navigator at the YMCA, supporting the homeless and helping them off the streets into secure accommodation. Sean had previously been involved in the YMCA Outreach Service, Burton Night Shelter and had led a large team at the YMCA furniture shop.
Paul Laffey Chief Executive said ‘The whole team are shocked to hear of Sean’s sudden death. He was a much loved and valued member off staff. At the Burton shop he created a community style feel where volunteers, customers and staff alike would be welcomed by him with his friendly manner and smile. Nothing was too much trouble for Sean and he helped women and men who had fled domestic violence, people who were moving into their first homes and kitted rough sleepers out with emergency supplies such as clothes, sleeping bags and rucksacks. Nothing pleased him more than being able to deliver much needed goods to someone who otherwise might not have been able to afford it. He wore his YMCA uniform with pride and he was proud to serve as an ambassador for our Charity. We will miss him dearly’.
Sean had a great passion for helping the homeless and worked as part of the Night Shelter and Outreach team. In his last role as Navigator Sean worked around the Burton town centre area to engage with rough sleepers to try to get them into accommodation and support services such as rehabilitation and counselling. Sean spent a few years working as part of the Burton Night Shelter team and his volunteers remember him fondly. He always knew how to calm and diffuse situations and would spend a lot of time talking to the night shelter guests and playing Chess with them. He was a phenomenal Chess player and they would often queue up to try and beat him. He treated everyone the same and had time for each and every person who came through those doors.
Sean was also passionate about supporting mental health services and raising awareness about well-being. He always participated in the YMCA England & Wales campaigns at a local level with the “Time to Talk” and “I am whole” campaigns. As one of the YMCA Mental Health First Aiders, he became someone the staff, residents and volunteers could turn to for help.
Last year, Sean became one of YMCA Burton’s volunteer Mediators having completed his Family Mediation training. He had some very positive outcomes from the families he worked with.
Sean was a familiar face at all the YMCA fundraising events. We will miss our friend and colleague very much. On behalf of all the YMCA clients, customers, staff and volunteers we send our condolences to Sean’s family and friends.