Send photos, video and news by texting GUARDIAN SERIES to 80360 (cost 10p), or email us
Caring community stalwart dies suddenly
A kind-hearted woman who devoted her life to helping others has died suddenly.
About 200 mourners are expected at the funeral tomorrow of Julie Stephenson, who died on September 24 the age of 56.
Miss Stephenson, of Newport Road in Leyton, suffered from a heart condition related to diabetes.
Miss Stephenson was widely known in Leyton and Leytonstone for her community work.
She recently helped homeless Edward Kuwateedza, also known as ‘Fast Eddy’, get a house just before he died earlier in September.
Miss Stephenson’s best friend, Isaac Samuels, described Miss Stephenson as: “Loving, open, very strong-willed and just so caring, giving and selfless.
“She needed people and people needed her,” he added.
After retiring from a career in social work ten years ago due to ill-health, Miss Stephenson continued to help people in whatever way she could, holding advice surgeries in cafes and running fundraising and community events.
Mr Samuels, 32, of Stewart Road in Leyton, said: “Even though her mobility was terrible, she volunteered for a HIV charity and advocated on behalf of so many people.
“She really put the social back into social work.
“She really believed in community and everybody knew her.”
Miss Stephenson was an active member of St John the Baptist church in Leytonstone, where her service will be held tomorrow at 1.30pm.
It will be followed by a celebration of her life at the Luna Lounge in Church Lane.
Mourners will be asked to donate to Miss Stephenson’s favourite charity, The Vine Project, which supports vulnerable children through education in Africa.
She had planned to volunteer for the project.
Miss Stephenson is survived by a partner of 13 years, three brothers and her parents, who live in Lancashire.
Comments are closed on this article.