In memory of

Professor Paul Kennedy

D.Phil., MSc., FBPsS., C.Psychol.

Compassionate clinician, wise teacher, pioneering researcher, generous colleague, dear friend.

This site has been established jointly by The Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research, the Department of Clinical Psychology at the NSIC, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Trust Clinical Psychology Services for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to bring together tributes from all those who were touched by Professor Paul Kennedy throughout the many areas of his professional life.

To submit a tribute please send it by email to:

Please do feel free to also send special photos, it will not be possible to upload all photos to the website but we will try and use them in memorial events and in a printed version of this site which will be presented to the family.

Simon Barnes

Paul not only advised and counselled me as a patient at Stoke Mandeville, he supported me immensely through a tiresome legal battle with the MoD and more recently found time in his busy schedule to help me with a thesis. This is a reflection of his care, and willingness to connect with people on a compassionate level. Thank you Paul.

Prof Susan Michie


Like everyone, I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Paul's early death. I had known Paul through the Stoke Mandeville and Oxford years, through teaching, training and excellent dinners together. A warm, generous man with impressive social and clinical skills. He was lovely and fun to be with and was obviously hugely thoughtful about and committed to the many facets of his job. He developed and improved what he was responsible for - and made the world a better place. I will miss his presence even though I saw him infrequently. My heart goes out to his family, about whom he always spoke lovingly, and those he was close to. Thank you Paul.

Helen Smith

Consultant Clinical Psychologist, London SCIC, Stanmore

Paul was my supervisor when I started working in spinal injuries at Stanmore. I used to go up to Stoke Mandeville to see him, and was invited to join some departmental case discussion meetings afterwards. He set up the organisations MASCIP and ESPA around the same time, which have been invaluable to me, and which offer great opportunities to meet others in the field. The Vienna ESPA conference last year was unforgettable, and I am so glad that Paul and Oonagh were both there.

Paul’s presentation at Guttmanns in Salisbury this year was in my opinion his best to date, and incorporated many of his great interests: Poppa Guttmann, the psychological core of rehabilitation, and the progress of research. Paul’s interests will be carried forward, and his influence will be a lasting one.

Dr Carol Smyth

Counselling Psychologist, London Spinal Cord Injury Centre, Stanmore

I knew of Paul’s work some years ago when I did my literature review for my Doctorate. Later I met him at the ESPA conference in Norway, where he came over to thank me for my presentation. It was great being a part of that conference, and also the Guttmann conference subsequently at Stoke Mandeville. It is a shock to lose such an important and influential Psychologist, and so young.

Rob Lowe

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Swansea University

I was very sad to hear of Paul's passing. I worked with Paul as an assistant psychologist in the early 90's on a big longitudinal study of coping with SCI. He was a very inspirational person to work with, and the experience had a lasting impact on my subsequent academic career. My recollection of Paul is of someone with terrific calm and confidence, and with an underlying (and sometimes quite mischievous) sense of humour. Paul - thank you for the opening you gave me which inspired the work I do to this day; you are missed from this world, but very much live on in memory.

Catherine Wilson

James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Florida

I was a new psychologist presenting for the first time at ASCIP in Las Vegas. Paul was also presenting during the same time and commented on how much he liked my presentation. I was so thrilled to have someone that was such a tremendous scientist, clinician, teacher and person to take the time to give me a comment.

Years later while in England visiting, he graciously invited me to give a presentation at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and took me to lunch. I feel so fortunate to have known him. What great contributions he made to the field. I remember him as a kind soul.

My prayers and thoughts go to his family and to the people who were so close to him.

Nicola Taylor

Clinical Psychologist, North East London NHS Foundation Trust

I had the privilege of knowing Paul and working with him when I was an Assistant Psychologist at the National Spinal Injuries Centre (2003-2004). I remember so well the passion and enthusiasm Paul had for his work and for the profession of Clinical Psychology. He was always brimming with further research ideas and his knowledge and expertise was awe-inspiring. He was a very kind, thoughtful and generous man. Paul gave me wise and astute advice during my time working at the NSIC that has helped me throughout my career and for which I am very grateful. I send my deepest and sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

Susan Jaglal

University of Toronto

I was so sad to hear of the sudden passing of Paul Kennedy. He was a wonderful colleague and excellent scholar. He was the external examiner for one of my doctoral students and came in person to Toronto, Canada. This gave us a chance to get to know what a lovely and gracious individual he was. We kept in touch and I had the opportunity to visit with him at Oxford last year where he took the time to show me around the campus. He will be greatly missed by the spinal cord research community.

Marie Johnston

University of Aberdeen

Like everyone else, I am shocked and saddened to hear that Paul has died – a terrible loss of a great friend and professional colleague. My heart goes out to Oonagh and the children. And he must be an enormous loss to his colleagues in Oxford University and in the clinical services.

He was extremely important in the development of the Health Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society – and I had lots of fun, as well as support and wisdom from Paul in these early days. We also shared research and practice interests in disability – so I can truly recognise his very impressive achievements in this field. He has had a fantastic programme of research - with publications and books on the topic – receiving recognition nationally and internationally from academics and practitioners alike – and all inspired by his ambition to improve the lives of people experiencing disabling conditions.

Paul will be greatly missed – by a very wide community of friends, professionals and patients. It’s hard to think I won’t see him again.

Khadj Rouf

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Like many people, I am deeply shocked and saddened to learn of Paul’s untimely death. It felt like he was part of the architecture of the Training Course and had been around for such a long time. I know that many, many people will be deeply affected by his loss, and my thoughts particularly go out to his family. He was kind and compassionate and had a good sense of fun. It is amazing how many people he knew and how many lives he touched. He made a good space in the world, and that is a tribute to him.

Antje Horsch

University of Lausanne, Switzerland

It was with great shock and sadness that I learned of Paul's premature death. My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy go to Paul's family.

I first met Paul at the start of my clinical psychology training in 2000 in Oxford, and I chose him as my dissertation supervisor. I then worked with him as an academic tutor from 2005-2011 before moving to Switzerland. Paul was an inspiration for me. He was able to excel in both his academic and his clinical work, and he felt passionate about clinical psychology training. He had a very warm personality and a wonderful sense of humour. I was impressed by his professional drive, clear vision and leadership, and his strong commitment to improve the lives of individuals with mental health problems.

I know that Paul loved Switzerland and we had talked about him coming to Lausanne for a visit. I feel sad that this will no longer be possible, and that I will never hear his reassuring voice and lovely Irish accent again.

Michelle Howard

Chair of Trustees, Spinal Injuries Association

It is with deep sadness that my colleagues and I at SIA learnt of the death of Professor Paul Kennedy. Not only was he an inspiring leader in the SCI field, but he was a close friend to SIA, generously providing his expertise. We were delighted in 2014 that he was commended for his contributions to the SCI community at SIA’s Rebuilding Lives Award. Those that nominated Paul for the award said that he was ‘inspirational’ with ‘an amazing ability to engage, motivate and lead those he works with’. He will be sorely missed by us all.

Jon Hasler

Team Lead Physiotherapist Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit Glasgow

It was with great shock and sadness that I read the news of Pauls sudden and unexpected death.

I have many fond memories of Paul from the first time we met at Stanmore, in 1988, my having just arrived back from New Zealand, and his introducing me to everyone as Jon from New Zealand. It took him years before he realised I was a Brit.

I also enjoyed working with him at Stoke Mandeville, and then to observe, from Glasgow, just how far Paul took his work and career, especially in his role as founder and 1st chair of MACSIP.

It was always a pleasure to listen to his calm Irish acsent and of cource to the interesting and informative ideas he had to share.

He will be greatly missed.

Dr Ashley Craig

Professor of Rehabilitation Studies, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney

It is indeed a sad day to lose a very talented scientist, clinician and friend. His close friendships extended all the way to Australia. We were looking forward very much to his visit here in November 2016 as a keynote speaker at the Australian and New Zealand Spinal cord injury conference in Adelaide South Australia. I extend my deep sympathy to his family and his colleagues and students at Oxford University. Au revoir mon ami

James Parker

Warwick Hospital (SWFT) & The Myton Hospices

I first met Paul as a trainee in Oxford in 2002 and I found him inspiring but also a little daunting! On reflection I think I was in awe of his professionalism, efficiency, commitment to his speciality and the training course, not to mention the publication list longer than my arm. This sense of awe diminished little over the years, but his true warmth of character and good humour meant I no longer felt daunted in his presence. In fact I chose to specialise in physical health in my final year because of Paul’s sage advice, and had a placement at the NSIC whilst also choosing Paul to be my dissertation supervisor. He proved a good choice as a dissertation supervisor as he was containing, ever supportive and had the ability to quickly assuage my mounting anxiety by understanding the issues and guiding me deftly to a pragmatic and sensible path forward. He also demonstrated an unquestioning belief in me and my abilities, even when I was less sure, which I found enormously validating. It is thanks to Paul’s great networking skills that I had a fantastic final placement at the University of Florida, where he had previously made links, for which I’ll be forever grateful. I was also aware of how much Paul valued family life and I enjoyed hearing about days out in London with his children on their birthdays or meeting his wife at the departmental Christmas gathering at their home.

Upon qualifying I joined the team Paul had built up over the years in Buckinghamshire, working in pain management, neuro-rehab and oncology. He encouraged me to publish with his typical humour and a wry smile by asking me whether there was a draft in the room, … a first draft! Again Paul led the department with humour, candour and a beguiling sense of strategic direction. It seemed to me he was able to manage people with a deft touch that few achieve, both empowering and protecting.

I think his influence in Oxford, NSIC and beyond is much like a fragrant spice; a little of it goes a long way and enhances everything it comes into contact with. Paul has greatly influenced my career in clinical health psychology in so many positive ways it’s difficult to articulate, and I will miss him as a colleague, role model and human.

Susan Llewelyn

University of Oxford

For more than fifteen years, I worked closely with Paul and Helen leading the clinical psychology doctorate at Oxford University, based in the NHS through Oxford Health. He was a wonderful colleague: always thoughtful, focussing absolutely on quality in training and in his clinical work. As a small team we worked to find a way for the Doctorate to obtain validation through Oxford University via Harris Manchester College, and shared many happy celebrations when we achieved it in 2000. We often taught trainees together which was fun, and I learned a huge amount from Paul’s ideas and knowledge. Paul and I also co-wrote a number of academic papers and edited three books: again his breadth of knowledge and understanding was inspiring. He was a highly respected teacher and supervisor, having consistently worked to support and develop new recruits to the profession. His clinical contribution was of immense significance to many patients and their families (including by co-incidence my own), through the delivery of patient centred care, informed by sound psychological theory. He continuously strove to link his clinical and research work, ensuring a productive stream of studies further illuminating the field of clinical psychology, and the best way to intervene with patients. His personal approach to work was highly ethical, values-based and professional, representing clinical psychology at its best.

Paul was also a kind man, with a cheery smile and warn welcome for everyone. Yes we sometimes disagreed, but not over much. I remember once being angry about something and then laughing together, with Paul being tolerant of me getting it wrong. He was also a loving family man and we had many lovely conversations about his holidays with the family, and hopes for the future. He enjoyed the good things of life like quality wine, food, and good conversation, and my warm memories include our shared external examiner dinners, meals in our respective homes, course awaydays and the occasional directorate night out. I am so sorry he has gone, and will miss him a great deal.

Zita Palmquist Eriksen

Practitioner psychologist and former clinical psychologist at The Spinal Cord Unit, Viborg Regional Hospital, Denmark

I first met Paul Kennedy at the 1st European Conference 2005, Stoke Mandeville Hospital. To know Paul meant high academic standards in the field of SCI-psychological theory and therapy.

I always looked forward to ESPA Conferences and the book “Coping Effectively with spinal Cord Injuries. Therapist Guide”, 2008 became an important manual to me.

Paul was a great inspiration to me in my work and a very kind man.
All honour to his memory.

Helen Dent

Staffordshire University

Paul was a most generous and supportive colleague. Amongst many warm encounters with him, I particularly remember his keynote presentation, some years ago, at the Group of Trainers in Clinical Psychology (GTiCP) conference, both for the wise content and for his wry sense of humour. I will miss his reassuring presence at GTiCP meetings and I send my deepest condolences to all who were close to him.

Mike Nemesvary

The Back Up Trust

We at The Back Up Trust were saddened to learn of Paul's sudden passing.

He was a selfless and tireless advocate for issues concerning people with disabilities and his impact on our community will be forever remembered.

Our gratitude goes out to him for for his unconditional guidance and support to our organisation.

Michelle Fisher

University of Birmingham

I knew Paul when I worked as an assistant psychologist in Aylesbury at the very early stage of my career. I remember him from then and also more recently at the National Group of Trainers conferences. I remember him as being such a warm, friendly and very passionate person about the work that he did at Stoke Mandeville, a lovely man. He will be truly missed.

Tim Elliott

Texas A&M University

I met Paul in 1999 and we quickly became friends. I was taken aback by the news of his death.

I thought the world of Paul. I was first impressed by his research and scholarship, but as became friends, his warmth, wit and keen intellect was a delight. He invited me over for a talk in 2003 and my wife (Nancy) and I loved our visit to Oxford, to Harris Manchester, and to Stoke-Mandeville.
He was a gracious and thoughtful host and guide -- I'm attaching a favorite picture of our visit, as he loved the George Berkeley quote there.

I'm also enclosing a picture of the last time I saw him: in 2013, in Jacksonville, Florida at the annual mid-winter rehabilitation psychology conference. The association gave him an award for his achievements, and at the last minute I was pressed into duty to introduce him as the recipient and summarize his accomplishments.

I was glad to do it and I tried not to make eye contact with him as I spoke of his unselfish energy and commitment to the field, his innovative research, and many international collaborations, and yes, I added a few personal anecdotes. Looking back, I feel lucky that he heard my high opinion of him, his work and his accomplishments that day.

I will miss him, and my heart goes out to his family. He really was such a positive force in this world.

Rachel Woolrich (nee Blaikley)

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

I worked with Paul from 2000 - 2006 spanning time as a trainee and then as a Research Tutor on the clinical psychology training course in Oxford. I always felt valued and that Paul had a genuine interest in my development as a person and as a psychologist. He was a man of such integrity, compassion and drive. Thank you Paul - your impact has been so far reaching.

Rachel Müller, Claudio Peter, Carolina Ballert, Szilvia Geyh

Swiss Paraplegic Research, Nottwil, Switzerland

On behalf of the Swiss Paraplegic Research (Szilvia Geyh, Claudio Peter, Carolina Ballert, Rachel Müller) we would like to express our sincere condolences and sympathy. Our thoughts are with the family and persons who were close to Paul Kennedy.

Maeve Nolan

National Rehabilitation Hospital, Éire

I will miss Paul’s significant presence in the world of all things to do with the psychology of spinal cord injury. He never missed the opportunity to promote the importance of ‘appraisal’ and this site is a tribute to our appraisal of his professional and personal contribution. Right now it’s hard to contemplate ESPA without Paul at the helm. My heart goes out to his family, colleagues and friends at this sad time.

Anne-Kristine Schanke, Ingar Hauglund Larsen, Helene Høye and Anne M. Lannem

Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Norway

On behalf of colleagues from Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Norway, we offer our deepest condolences to Paul Kennedys family, friends and closest colleagues. He will be a great loss for all that knew him.

Tony Lavender

Canterbury Christ Church University

I have known Paul for many years since he joined the clinical psychology training community. Paul was deeply respected and always had wise words to add to the discussions. Personally I really enjoyed and looked forward to meeting and talking with Paul. He was passionate and compassionate about his work. Always quick to see the funny side of the issues and just a great person to be with professionally and socially. Although I hadn’t seen Paul so often in recent years whenever we did meet it was like no time had passed. He will be greatly missed by the training community and I am so sad about the tragic loss.

Cynthia Graham

University of Southampton

I was very shocked and saddened to hear about Paul's death. I worked as a Research Tutor on the Oxford Doctoral Clinical Psychology course from 2004-2010 and Paul was my boss. He was a wonderful colleague and always encouraging and supportive to me. He was also very good company - very charming and with a great sense of humour. He will be sorely missed- all my condolences to his family.

Elenor McLaren

Pain Management Centre, UCLH

I was shocked and saddened to hear of Paul’s untimely passing and my thoughts are with his family.

I trained on the Oxford Clinical Psychology course between 1999-2002. Although Sue Llewelyn was the Course Director then, Sue and Paul worked as a great team to develop, nurture and support us.
He always pressed upon us trainees that clinical psychologists should bring a portfolio of skills to healthcare settings in addition to the clinical especially research, teaching and leadership which he modelled so well in his own career.
He directly inspired me to specialise in clinical health psychology. During placement at Stoke Mandeville he showed me that we can help people forge a path to live well with chronic conditions and disability which has shaped my career focus.
He supported me through the doctoral research and publication years later. He was always warm and collegiate. I remember him showing me a new book he’d published one time where he thanked his children for their joy which stayed with me for it’s simplicity and, years later, when I had my own children, deeply resonated. I sometimes saw Paul at conferences in recent years when he was ever convivial and, when I ran a workshop at the Isis Centre in January this year, he came to greet me like a old friend.

Paige Chana

Assistant Psychologist at NSIC, trainee at Oxford, class of 2010

I had the honour of knowing Paul since 2006 when he gave me the break I so desperately needed and took me on as an assistant psychologist. From here on he became my mentor and acted as a father figure as he influenced and shaped my professional and personal development. He brought out the best in me and gave me the courage to push myself in all I did as an assistant and as a trainee. When I doubted my skills and experience he gave me encouragement and self belief to apply and go onto start training. when I was unsure about specialising in paediatrics he reminded me how he had made a whole career out of working in one specialty and to go with my passion! When I faced adversity during training he gave me counsel. I am the person I am and a Clinical Psychologist today because of Paul's support.

Paul was the embodiment of a scientist practitioner and as such managed to significantly influence the care patients received during their rehabilitation at the NSIC. I decided to work in a medical setting because of Paul's inspirational work and passion. When Paul spoke about his area of work, people listened and you were left hanging on to his every word.

Despite having a number of different roles and responsibilities clinically and academically and being a man of great importance he was always sincere in asking how I was getting on and asking about my family. He welcomed me and my partner to departmental dinners and garden parties at his house. Paul was very generous with his time. It was always heart warming to hear Paul speak with such fondness about his wife and two children. He shared great stories about his family and you just knew he was a very dedicated husband and father.

He has gone too soon but leaves such a legacy behind him that will live on forever. Thank you for caring Paul.

Julia C Jones

Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training (1982 - 2006)

I got to know Paul when I was part of the admin team on the Clinical Psychology Training Course. He was a gentleman in the true sense of the word - a kind, warm, compassionate, dedicated, and fun-loving man who was always generous with his time. His tenacity and hard work with both The Spinal Injuries Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and The Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training had a huge and positive effect and his influence will be felt for many years to come.

My thoughts go out to his family.

June Dent

I worked with Paul for many years as a colleague in Buckinghamshire Psychology services in the eighties and nineties and later on back here in Oxfordshire when he joined the Training Course and I was in the Adult Psychological Services. He was an extraordinarily talented psychologist, and a passionate clinician and researcher in the field of spinal injuries and more broadly in health psychology, and a great leader on the training course inspiring so many trainees to pursue this specialism. He embodied the role of 'scientist practitioner' that all psychologists aspire to. He and I were closest when my kids and his children were young and we could compare notes on the joys, trials and tribulations of being parents (mostly joys!). He remained a very steady colleague to have around and will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with his wife and family.

Stephanie Hanson

University of Florida

To Paul’s family, I, like so many others, was fortunate to know Paul. I feel very lucky that he graced my life. I met Paul over 30 years ago when I was a newly trained psychologist, and I still fondly remember first meeting him. Bob Frank and others were joined by Paul in a familiar place, the restaurant bar. We had been attending the same conference and came together to relax before dinner. Paul was such a kind soul. He welcomed me like I was an old friend even though I had just met him. His stories and laughter were infectious; I think I can speak for so many others who had similar experiences - when we were with Paul, we always had a delightful time. I know I don’t need to tell you this but want to anyway – he was warm, funny, and inspiring. I loved talking with him, not only because he was witty and a great story teller but because he always shared interesting, creative ideas that challenged me to grow professionally. Most recently, I had the opportunity to contribute to the Oxford Handbook of Rehabilitation Psychology he edited, and he was the same wonderful person that I had met so long before. I am so blessed that he touched my life, and we are so lucky as a rehabilitation psychology discipline to have his wisdom - wisdom that will live on through our experiences as well as the body of work he has given to all of us. Most importantly, I am blessed because he not only treated me like an old friend when I first met him, but he became an old friend, even across the miles. I feel truly sadder today, as a hole has opened inside me, but I know it will be filled with memories over time, memories that will make me smile every time I think of Paul. My deepest condolences.

Cat Houlihan

2nd year trainee

Paul was such a fantastic course director. The first thing I remember about him was his laid-back and compassionate attitude to our training - "don't panic, we're psychologists!" he would often remind me if I was struggling with the course demands. He was invested in taking the time to get to know us, which has added great value to my experience. I am sad not see my final year through with him as our director, teacher, and mentor. I will never forget the passion he held for his clinical work - if I qualify with even one tenth of this I will be a very happy psychologist indeed.

David Sculfor

Stoke Mandeville Hospital

I first met Paul many years ago when I had just started at Stoke Mandeville. I was due to speak at a teaching day for local GPs, and was very nervous, not having done much lecturing then. It was in the days before PowerPoint and my slides were loaded into a carousel ready for projection. Just before I was due to be introduced I went to the projection booth to find my carousel gone! Total panic ensued until a few minutes later when Paul walked in clutching my missing slides. He had come looking for a spare carousel and had been given mine (by my boss), being told it was a spare. Whenever we saw each other afterwards, either in the hospital or in our local Tesco, the invariable greeting was “Have you got my slides?”.

Paul was a lovely warm person and will be greatly missed.

Kate McLoughlin

Fellow and Tutor in English Literature, Harris Manchester College, Oxford

One of the joys of the Oxford system is getting to know people in different subjects. I had some fascinating conversations with Paul, and will miss his wonderful friendliness, humour and good cheer. The presentation he gave recently to Harris Manchester fellows on Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, refugee from Nazi Germany, first director of Stoke Mandeville and founder of the Paralympics, will stay with me as a reminder that helping another person is the start of a whole chain of helping.

William Stiers

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

I have worked with Paul for a number of years in our profession, mostly from the United States, in relation to the rehabilitation of persons with disability and chronic health conditions. I have heard him speak at professional conferences, have published in his book, have seen his work with patients and trainees, and have spoken with him about how to help persons with disability.

He has been a wonderful colleague, a wonderful clinician for his patients, a wonderful team member in his clinical work, and an tremendous example for the broad professional community.

Plus, he is just a nice, smart, helpful guy.

I will miss him.

Dr Claudia Wilson

Class of 2005

I'd just like to send my deepest sympathy for Paul's family and friends. He passed so suddenly and so unexpectedly, such a shock. Such a great loss to Psychology.

Dr Shona Lavey

Clinical Psychologist (trained 2010-2014)

I recently completed my Clinical Psychology training and was lucky enough to be supported by Paul during this time. He was a very wise, compassionate and thoughtful person who took the time to get to know us all as individuals. He worked hard to help us to become the best versions of themselves as well as the best Psychologists we could be. Paul was extremely passionate and inspired me to fight for the things I believe strongly about in my work. I feel extremely priviledged to have known him and very saddened at his passing. I hope to be even half the Psychologist that he was.

Louise Wright

The Back-Up Trust

I first heard Paul mention Back Up at a training day for solicitors over 10 years ago. His presentation was fast paced (with lots of slides!!), passionate, confident and fun with a cheeky plug for an organisation he cared for and believed in. I remember speaking with him afterwards and I felt I had learned a lot; about the organisation I had just started working for, about the issues people with spinal cord injury (SCI) faced and about myself. Paul remained a steady supporter of Back Up, myself and many colleagues over the years. We asked him several favours in that time which always resulted in a ready YES. His work has a made a huge impact on people with SCI and I know he’d be quietly pleased with that.

My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues right now.

Dr Helen Pickering

Embrace Psychological Services

I am deeply saddened to hear about the sudden and tragic loss of such a passionate and talented man. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and community. Paul was the Senior Academic Tutor at the Oxford Clinical Psychology course during my time there as a trainee 1998-2001. I had also known him previously from my time working in Aylesbury as an Assistant Psychologist at Rayner's Hedge where I attended regional professional meetings where our paths would cross. During my time as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist I met with him on a regular basis to review my overall training, and those meetings always felt supportive, considered and warm. His Irish accent and sense of humour was endearing. I especially valued Paul's support and guidance at the end of my doctoral training, when I was particularly challenged by the academic demands. He played a significant part in my overall training experience, which laid a solid foundation on which my subsequent career as a clinical psychologist was built upon. His contribution and dedication to the field of clinical psychology has been collossal and he will be greatly missed by so many. Thank you Paul for everything that you so generously gave. What a wonderful man!

Dr Maggie Rayfield

I trained on the Oxford Clinical Psychology course from 1998-2001. Paul wasn't the course Director then, but I knew him and he taught us sometimes. He seemed to me then to be approachable, supportive, knowledgeable and warm, especially with that lovely, calming Irish accent! This impression that I had of Paul was reinforced more recently, when last year he helped me enormously in my return to work efforts following a career break: despite not having seen or heard from me in fourteen years, he eagerly recommended me to a colleague for a return-to-work placement, which I went on to complete. I am not sure I could have managed without Paul's intervention, and I will forever be grateful. His is such a sad loss to everyone who knew him.

Margaret Tilley

University of Buckingham

I first became aware of Paul when the community mental health team that I worked with used his recorded voice for progressive muscle relaxation with our patients; such a calm, reassuring voice. I met Paul some years later when I began my DPhil research at Stoke Mandeville and I found he was as calm and reassuring as his voice suggested. Paul was my collaborator rather than my DPhil supervisor and yet over the last few years he has provided me with so much support, advice, guidance and encouragement. Despite being so busy he always found time to meet me if I requested a meeting and if we bumped into each other in the corridor he always stopped for a chat. I shall be forever grateful to Paul and I will remember him with admiration, respect and great fondness. I know his passing will be felt by many.

Jonathan Fogerty

Former Chair & Trustee of SIA (Spinal Injuries Association)

I was so very sad to learn of Paul’s passing.

I sustained my spinal cord injury nearly 30 years ago and I first came into contact with Paul with the founding of the MASCIP organisation.

Paul never supported me clinically but I worked closely with him when I was a trustee and then Chair of the Spinal Injuries Association, the national charity in this country supporting people affected by spinal cord injury.

Paul was a very kind and very well respected man and I enjoyed his company very much.

He will be very sorely missed. The world of spinal cord injury rehabilitation & support has lost a great friend and colleague & is poorer for his absence.

I send my condolences to his family & I will remember Paul very fondly.

Jane Duff

Consultant Clinical Psychologist, National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

My first memory of Paul was his presentation at the Guttmann Conference in 1996 at the Salisbury Spinal Centre where I was a Trainee at the time. I was inspired and had the privilege of commencing work with him at the NSIC, Stoke Mandeville Hospital the following year. Paul has been the most wonderful colleague, mentor and friend ever since. He has shaped my values and enabled me to develop into the Clinical Psychologist and person I have become. His influence will continue throughout my life. His contribution and clinical insight has been immense and provides a lasting legacy for all who work in spinal cord injury. Paul, thank you the world is a richer place because of you.

David Murphy

Joint Director – Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training

25 years ago I started a job as clinical psychologist on the spinal injury unit at Stanmore; whenever I met a member of staff they all said they said the same thing “We used to have a lovely young man working here as a psychologist called Paul Kennedy – he was wonderful!” Eventually, I thought I should meet this man who by then was at Stoke Mandeville – he was indeed wonderful and he generously supported me in my job then and kept in touch ever since. In the last 3 years, I had the privilege to work alongside Paul in Oxford where he has inspired hundreds of trainees over the years. Even so it wasn’t until this last week that I have begun to realise quite how many lives were touched by this inspiring, committed, caring and compassionate man who was taken from us far too soon. An Irish friend of Paul’s taught me a Gaelic phrase this week which says it all; Ni bheidh a leitheid aris ann – “there will not be his like again”. Rest in peace, dear colleague and friend.