15/12/1966 – 04/07/2022
A special tribute to a special lady
Karen was married with a daughter Emily and a son George who was the only survivor of triplets born at 24 weeks and had his fair share of complex needs.
This is why she first got involved in helping to set up Positive Parents (PP), a group that would help parents in similar situations. She had found when you’re a parent trying to get help for your child or young person from various Councils or NHS Departments you could never seem to get the right person and a lot of the time you were just given the run-around; you could never get straight answers or get the right people to attend meetings.
Over the years Karen became well respected by the local authorities and the different NHS Departments and was invited to attend lots of their internal meetings where she could put the voice across for the ‘SEND family’.
Karen helped numerous families over the years, from just pointing them in the right direction to attending meetings with them or making loads of phone calls to various professionals just to get the answer the family needed.
She was also instrumental in helping to set up similar groups in other boroughs; she set up a bike scheme in a local country park where PP purchased bikes and trikes which enabled people with all types of disabilities to take part with their families, she organised Christmas parties for all members of PP to attend. When a new sports centre was planning to be built, she met with the local authority and got the necessary equipment installed to enable people with disabilities to be able to get changed in comfort and to be hoisted into the pool safely and she also advocated for private sessions just for SEND families. She also met with the local hospital and shopping centre to get changing facilities installed to enable young adults to be changed with dignity.
Karen was a vital link between parents and professionals. She would not give up a cause until she had exhausted every avenue to help that family.
She will be greatly missed by her family and friends, and also by her ‘SEND family’.
A tribute from Havering Volunteer Centre
Karen was a great advocate for the Voluntary Sector and would champion the cause at every opportunity. She was heavily involved in the Havering Volunteer Managers Forum, hosted by Havering Volunteer Centre bi-monthly, engaging volunteers for her charity and others, identifying gaps in services that desperately needed addressing.
While Karen’s spirit, tenacity and infectious enthusiasm is sorely missed by us all in Havering, I am proud to say Karen’s legacy lives on and we all are working together to ensure her hard work is not forgotten.
This is a tribute for a lady who was beautiful inside and out, a great colleague, friend and partner. We miss you, Karen you certainly were a very special lady.