A tribute to LYPFT colleague Ben Green

A tribute to Ben Green, whose last role was with the Gender Identity Service at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

It is with great sadness that we announce that Ben Green, our much loved and respected LYPFT colleague, died on Saturday 23 July 2022.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and teammates at this difficult time. We have been sharing with them how much Ben meant to so many colleagues at our Trust and across the health and care system, where he was a well-regarded figure.

Ben, who was just 42 years old, lived in York. The above photo was taken in 2017, when Ben was a Ward Manager in our Forensics Service.

Ben, who started his career as a Staff Nurse and Ward Manager in our Low Secure Forensic Services, writes about his ten years with the team at Clifton House in York in this excerpt from a case study he wrote for a forensics recruitment campaign in 2017.

“One of the best things about working in this speciality are the specific skills you develop which help you carry out highly specialised interventions effectively for the service users we look after.

“I’m involved in the patient council, where we meet monthly with service users to listen to their feedback, understand their concerns and try and make changes that will benefit their wellbeing and recovery. It’s very rewarding when you see this through from beginning to end.

“One of my career highlights was seeing my ward named Clinical Team of the Year at the Trust Awards ceremony in 2016. This was a real morale boost for staff and so important that their work is recognised.

“One of the big myths around forensic services is that a lot of control and restraint of high risk patients takes place. In my experience, this isn’t the case. Yes, some of our service users can be challenging, but we promote collaborative working resulting in the least restrictive practice. Therefore, building long-term therapeutic relationships and seeing those have a positive impact is so rewarding. When you see people recover and move on, that’s brilliant.”

Ben latterly worked with the Gender Identity Service.

In November 2019, two days after his 40th birthday, Ben received the devastating news that he had oesophageal cancer. This is treatable, but sadly as the months passed on, Ben was to learn that his cancer was terminal.

Ben’s brother Tom (pictured here with Ben) writes on their JustGiving page: “In just 32 months, whilst living with his disease, Ben raised £40,379 for cancer charities, raised awareness and encouraged open discussions about cancer by joining multiple interviews on radio stations and podcasts. He was asked to be a UK ambassador for Boots UK No7, promoting the No7 skincare range for people living with cancer. He was selected to be a baton bearer for the Commonwealth Games 2022, to carry the torch through the city of York, and he received personal messages of support and encouragement from the likes of Queen Elizabeth’s lady in waiting, Sir Cliff Richard, Nigella Lawson, Eddie Izzard and Chris Kamara, to name just a few, which just shows how far his story had travelled.”

Ben wrote a blog to support other oesophageal cancer sufferers and shared his journey on his social media pages, including on Twitter @CancerAndQuiff. He also wrote a blog for our Wellbeing Wednesday newsletter about his fundraising and how he was looking after his wellbeing while receiving treatment.

A number of Ben’s old teammates and colleagues in the NHS family have already shared their reflections of him as a colleague, a friend and as a skilled and compassionate nurse and manager. We have included a selection of these below.

If you would like to donate to continue supporting Macmillan in Ben’s name, you can donate to at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/forourben. You can also find out more about Ben’s journey on this page.

Watch this short film ‘In Loving Memory of Ben Green’ 

Rest in peace, Ben, with much love from your NHS family.

A selection of tributes to Ben that have been sent in by colleagues:

Kate Ward, Allied Health Professions Workforce Lead / Occupational Therapist / Rainbow Alliance Lead

“Ben & I met through the Rainbow Alliance 5 years ago. We also began doing some voluntary work together in Leeds every Friday night, and it was through this time together that we got close and became great mates. We’ve travelled abroad together & had some brilliant weekenders closer to home. I can’t possibly regale you with any tales of these jaunts in a blog post. But let’s just say, if you knew Ben, you can imagine some of the moments we shared! You were always guaranteed a laugh when you were with Ben. He was cheeky and witty whilst also being so deeply caring and considerate of others. I grew to love him so dearly, and I now miss him so terribly.

I was so privileged to have spent the afternoon with Ben the day before he left this life. Despite being in pain, we laughed, gossiped (he always loved an LYPFT gossip catch-up) and reminisced. Even though he retired from LYPFT some time ago, his heart didn’t. He still spoke about his nursing career & working life in the present tense, and it was evidently a part of his identity that he valued so much. He was adored by many, many of us, and the wonderful thing is he felt that and knew that – through all the support everyone has shown him.

“Even whilst living with cancer, Ben supported me around making a life changing decision for myself recently. When he was at the day hospital the other month having treatment, he was messaging me to ask how I was and chatted on the phone to me as soon as he’d finished on the unit. Always selfless, always considering others. The next chapter of my life shall be dedicated to Ben & it will be a chapter that will be that much fuller and enriched. Because what he has shown me… and us all… is what it means to live life to the fullest. How to be caring and considerate of others, and how to always see the silver lining in even the darkest of clouds.

“I’ll finish by sharing with you all a beautiful dream I had about Ben after he died. He FaceTimed me. He was sat on a paddle board in the middle of a breathtaking lake that was like glass. There were snow-capped stunning mountains all around. It reminded me of when I visited the Norwegian Fjords. I asked him where he was, and he told me…“I’ve come to find the Northern Lights”

He always did want to go see the Northern Lights.

I love you to pieces Mr & I will remember you always.

Love, Wardy x

Danielle Hopkins, Gender Outreach Worker 2019-2021:

“I’m sorry to hear that Ben has passed.

“He was an absolutely phenomenal person, an inspired leader and had a warmth and kindness that not many could hold a candle to.

“Approachable, relatable, and would always be there in the bad times and the good. He was honest, caring, kind, compassionate and inspired others despite his own diagnosis.

“I thought of him often during his last great adventure, and I’m sending my love and thoughts to his friends, family and colleagues during this sad time.”

Sally Rawcliffe-Foo, Operational Manager, Forensic Services, York:

“I remember Ben fondly; he was such a lovely person and one of those people you meet in life that you know you will always remember. 

“However, here are just a few of my standout memories; I remember his baking and the cupcakes he baked for his ward team (no special occasion required) and the fact that he referred to the Bluebell team as the Bluebs – he was so proud when they won the LYPFT Team of Year Award in November 2016.

“I remember when a number of us at Clifton House got puppies at around the same time; Molly, Luther, Lincoln and Dave (the puppies), and we’d arrange a play date for them at the dog park. Ben’s dog Molly was the only dog covered in mud. 

“I remember the evening of celebrating the NHS’s 70th Anniversary at York Minster with Ben and colleagues, a proud and joyous occasion.

“Finally, I remember when Ben’s quiff was definitely on point, and I likened him to Jimmy Neutron; boy genius, a 2001 Nickelodeon cartoon character. Ben didn’t seem too sure at first, so I Googled the image, and he could see where I was coming from; however, at 22 years old in 2001, I am sure Nickelodeon characters were not high on Ben’s radar.”

Rob Kershaw – Desktop Support Analyst – Health Informatics Service

“During my time supporting Ben with his ICT requirements at Clifton House (Bluebell Ward) and Newsam Centre (GID), we shared many a laugh. He was always full of joy and laughter and had many a story to share.

Words cannot describe how much he will be missed. The moment Ben walked into a room, you knew in an instant; his sense of humour and bubbly personality were something else.

Ben was extremely supportive, happy, caring, approachable, oh and very, very chatty! Nothing was ever too much trouble, and he had time for everybody. He just knew the right thing to say to make someone’s frown turn upside down.

He was a role model to me and many others within the LGBTQ+ community. We would often chat about life and always knew we were there for each other if we needed to talk.

You will always be remembered,

Rest in peace, my rainbow friend. You will be greatly missed! 🌈🌈

Ruth Bell, Case Manager for Out of Area Complex Rehab, Dean Caldwell-WhiteWard Manager at The Mount, and Amanda Naylor, Operational Manager:

“Dear Ben, we started as a group of people sharing an office space and quickly became firm friends. Our bake offs were legendary, and our fuddles outstanding. We loved spending time with you -bowling, golfing, sharing good food, a tipple or two and plenty of laughs. You were one in a million with the biggest heart, and we are so proud to have been your friends. We will miss you. Sleep tight – Amanda, Ruth and Dean xx”

Bekki Whisker, now working at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust: 

“I was Ben’s manager from 2016-2019 at Clifton House in York. I remember interviewing him for his role as Ward Manager at Bluebell, and I was struck by his compassion for the service users that he worked for. Ben put Bluebell forward for the Trust Awards and won Team of the Year in 2016, and he was so proud of the staff team. 

“Ben was an advocate for staff and service users alike, he was never afraid to express his views in support of others, and he always managed to find a positive solution in the most difficult situation. 

“Ben brought a wicked and fabulous sense of humour to Clifton House, which appealed to staff and service users alike. He always brought a smile to our faces. He was also a fabulous baker and treated us to some amazing bread and cakes! 

“I built a friendship with Ben at Clifton, and he was loved by my family and friends. He was an excellent manager, nurse and a truly amazing friend. He will be deeply missed by all that knew him. His contribution to his work and to the lives of those around him will never be forgotten. 

“RIP The Lovely Ben.”

Photos of Ben from the LYPFT archives:

Some of the messages following the announcement on our LYPFT social media pages:

LYPFT Twitter

LYPFT Public Facebook

LYPFT LinkedIn