Sue Hordijenko’s death: ‘Popular councillor deeply missed’

Councillor Sue Hordijenko. Pic: Tariq Chaudry

The death of Lewisham Councillor Sue Hordijenko has driven many people to pay tribute to her positive impact on the borough and beyond.

The former Goldsmiths, University of London student, who passed away on February 17, has been remembered for her dedication towards the Lewisham area, having been a Bellingham resident who served as a Labour councillor from 2016-2021.

Hordijenko was also a member of the council’s Healthier Communities Select Committee, which monitors matters of local health.

Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan said in a statement: “ Sue was a kind and compassionate councillor, who worked tirelessly to support the people she represented in Bellingham. . . She was a popular and respected figure at the Council and will be deeply missed by many.”

Despite being active within the council, Hordijenko also worked as a fitness instructor and was a board member for Pheonix Community Housing, which is a south London-based housing association.

The organisation’s community engagement projects officer, Rosalind Hardie, said in a tweet: “I spent quite a lot of time with Sue when I was working in Bellingham and she was such a hard worker, often behind the scenes, quietly getting things done for her community.”

Hordijenko has also been remembered for her courageous approach to her role. Councillor James-J Walsh said in a tweet: “Sue was not just a colleague she was a friend she fought hard for #Lewisham, #Bellingham and what she believed in.”

‘Great shock’

Lewisham’s other councillors also paid tribute to their former colleague.

Councillor Kevin Bonavia said in a tweet: “A great shock and terribly sad. Sue was always so lovely to be around and cared deeply for her community.”

Councillor Brenda Dacres said in a tweet: “Deeply saddened by this news. . . She was absolutely committed to doing her very best for all in Bellingham, and all in Lewisham.”

Hordijenko was also recalled as a champion of the local community. Councillor Tauseef Anwar said in a tweet: “Deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague. . . A true advocate for her constituents.”

‘Influential and inspirational’

Hordijenko’s commitment to the wider Lewisham area had followed her work at the British Science Association (BSA), which is a charity that promotes the development of science. Hordijenko worked at the BSA between 1999-2013, where she became a Director of Programmes, managing projects such as the British Science Festival, which aims to introduce people to scientists, engineers, social scientists, and technologists.

Chief Executive of the BSA, Katherine Mathieson described Hordijenko as an influential figure.

Mathieson said: “Saddened to hear that my former BSA colleague Sue Hordijenko died a few days ago. . . She made a big impact on me and on the whole organisation.”

Hordijenko efforts towards advocacy were also implemented within the organisation.

Farrah Nazir, former manager of British Science Festival said: “Sue . . . cared deeply about her team and cared about improving the relationship between science and society.

“Like many, I learnt so much working with Sue – she was an inclusive leader who, in many ways, was ahead of the curve when it came to challenging matters relating to equity, diversity, and inclusion . . .”

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