Mental health worker ‘was a great man to be around’

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A twin brother has paid tribute to a “dedicated and much loved” mental health worker of 22 years who died with Covid-19.

Alanzo Smith, 62, from Chingford in north-east London, died on Sunday at the University College Hospital in London.

His twin brother Spurgeon, a technical demonstrator from Kings Heath, Birmingham, said Alanzo had been in hospital since April 14 after testing positive for Covid-19.

Spurgeon said Alanzo’s family had last seen him a week before he died.

“We haven’t stopped crying since,” he told the PA news agency.

Alanzo migrated from Jamaica at the age of 14 and relocated to Bilston, near Wolverhampton, with his family where he attended the local secondary school.

“He enjoyed his job, he would go in even when he was off work, he was a dedicated worker,” said Spurgeon.

“He was always helpful and wanted to do things for other people.”

Spurgeon last saw Alanzo in January when they spent a weekend in London to celebrate the 50th birthday of their youngest brother Horace.

“He had a great presence when we were together,” Spurgeon said.

“He was very happy and jolly, a great man to be around.”

Alanzo Smith
Alanzo Smith (centre back, red striped tie) was described as a ‘dedicated worker’ (Spurgeon Smith/PA)

He is one of more than 160 frontline NHS and care workers who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesman from the BEH Mental Health Trust said: “It is with heartfelt sadness that we confirm the loss of our colleague and friend Alanzo Smith due to coronavirus.

“Alanzo had worked for BEH and our predecessor organisations since 1998, most recently working in the Enfield crisis resolution and home treatment team as associate mental health worker.

“Alanzo was widely known and much loved across BEH, both in his role as an associate mental health worker and also as a local trade union steward for Unison.

“He will be greatly missed in both roles by trust staff, patients, his family and friends.”

Alanzo Smith is survived by his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.

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