I was very shocked and saddened to learn of the death of my neighbour and friend, Stephen Lloyd who died in a boating accident in Wales last week.

Many tributes are being paid to his professional work as a lawyer and indeed he helped Peabody considerably too. 

However, I will always remember Stephen as a really special gentle man who, with Lorna, created a wonderful and happy family life with his children and more lately grandchildren. I can hardly believe that he is no longer with us and I cannot imagine how they feel. Stephen’s knowledge and passionate interest in all things locally, nationally and around the world shone out to everyone who met him.

Professionally, Stephen was a former Senior Partner at law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite; he headed their charity and social enterprise department for several years, and was an adviser to Trust Thamesmead, now part of the Peabody Group.

He was also a trustee of more than 20 charities, including the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action (CIVA).  Among the remarkable list of achievements in his career, which spanned almost 40 years of service as a lawyer, is the creation of the Community Interest Company (or the ‘CIC’), a dedicated legal form for social enterprises. More than 10,000 of these have been registered in less than a decade.

Stephen introduced Peabody to Michael Norton, Honorary Director and a fellow Trustee of CIVA. This helped us to set up two enterprise hubs: Small works Victoria, and Small works Kings Cross (which will open in September). 

In addition, the introduction has really helped us network with a number of organisations we would not have come into contact with, and enabled us to explore new ways of working with exciting and innovative partner organisations.

Stephen put social enterprise on the legal map, and by inventing the Community Interest Company, and being involved as a lawyer for things like Big Society Capital and others, he played an extraordinary role at the heart of this move from charity to social enterprise. He will be greatly missed.

My thoughts are with you, Lorna and your family, and you have my deepest sympathy.