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We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ruth Abrahams. Ruth made a significant contribution to the vitality, accessibility and equality of Newcastle in many ways.  She was a Trustee and Vice Chair of Newcastle CVS (now Connected Voice); a Trustee and Vice Chair of Disability North; a trustee of Age Concern (Newcastle); an active member of the Newcastle Voluntary Sector Liaison Group, and formal member of the (former) Newcastle Strategic Partnership where she Chaired the Equalities Partnership Group.  She chaired the Health and Community Care Forum and the former LINk (Local Involvement Network) Board. 

Ruth took on all of these roles whilst living with multiple disabilities that affected her mobility.  She had immense skill and experience which she used to advise and improve the lives of others in Newcastle. In 2013, she was awarded the MBE for services to the voluntary and community sector in Newcastle.

As well as Ruth’s many roles on committees and boards she was passionate about the working conditions for staff and their wellbeing.  She was a member of the Newcastle CVS Staff Council and contributed her wisdom and knowledge to ensure good and fair practice in the workplace. She always valued the staff team and was kind and generous.  At Christmas, she always delivered chocolates for staff and sent her best wishes.  She expressed her fondness many times for Newcastle CVS and that she valued the work of the whole organisation.

Ruth will be missed by many people in the city but especially by the staff, volunteers and trustees of Connected Voice who valued her determination to make a difference over the many years we knew her.

Simon Elliott, Chair of Connected Voice, said “Ruth Abrahams was an extraordinary woman.  As a Trustee she brought her sharp mind, her fearless questioning and her wonderful sense of humour to the service of the Board of Newcastle CVS.  She was a huge asset to our work, speaking up in particular on behalf of disabled people. Personally, I learned a lot from Ruth and always looked forward to meeting her, either at Higham House or at her home in Fenham when she was unable to get out.  I know all of the Trustees and colleagues across the North East who worked alongside her will join with me in sending our condolences to her family and we look forward to commemorating and celebrating Ruth’s life at an appropriate time.”