Wife pays tribute to charity boss who died in cycling accident in Oxfordshire

Tim Joss died in a cycling accident in Oxfordshire (Family handout)
Tim Joss died in a cycling accident in Oxfordshire (Family handout)

A charity boss has been killed after he was hit by a car while cycling in Oxfordshire, his wife has said.

Tim Joss, 68, had “just gone to the shops” when the “tragic accident” happened in the Brize Norton area on Wednesday.

Science writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry paid tribute to her “darling, adored husband” describing him as a visionary who was deeply loved.

Mrs Parry told the Standard: “He had only popped out. There is a half cup of tea on the draining board and you expect him to walk back at any moment.

“He was travelling along a country road and he was hit from behind by a car and the air ambulance was dispatched but he was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Mrs Parry described how her husband would play the piano daily and would often play to her while she gardened.

She added: “Although Tim was not a professional pianist he played piano to a concert standard and he played every single day of his life.

“He played for at least an hour every morning and then he played throughout the day.

“He would open the windows so I could hear him everywhere in the garden playing… He was a fantastic player but he wanted to go into the arts on the administration side, not on the performance side.”

The pair lived together in Oxfordshire but had also been based in London for 20 years, first in Muswell Hill and later in Camden. Parry's two adult children, Owen and Ellis, were Joss's stepsons, and Joss has a daughter, Hannah, from his first marriage, and a granddaughter, Clemency.

Mr Joss founded the charity Arts Enterprise with a Social Purpose (Aesop) in July 2014.

The charity pioneered “evidenced-based arts solutions to society’s problems,” most notably with the Dance to Health programme - which provided dance lessons that helped older people build up their strength and balance.

Mrs Parry described how one of Mr Joss’ proudest moments was presenting a group of dancers to NHS CEO Amanda Pritchard.

She added: “He was recognised as a visionary by people in the arts world and he had a fantastic reputation for doing these extraordinary things, getting all these Dance to Health classes going all over the country.”

The charity has also worked in prisons, particularly helping women who had struggled with addiction.

Chair of Aesop, Professor Kevin Fenton, who is also the regional director of public health for NHS London, said he, the other trustees and staff, were devastated by the news.

He said: “We are so very sorry to lose our wonderful colleague and friend Tim. It was a privilege to work closely with him to realise ambitions of Aesop over many years.

“We will deeply miss his advocacy, passion and commitment to creative health.”