It is with sadness that we learned of the passing of Louise Sinclair.

Louise Sinclair was the founder and first Chair of HBBS. She set up the charity just as she was finishing her first term as Mayor of Havering in 1989. She gathered a a professional group of people around her to form a Management Committee, begged a tiny room from St Francis Hospice, sought small grants from Havering, Brentwood and Essex Councils, recruited a coordinator for four hours a week and launched a charity that offered free bereavement counselling to the residents of Havering and Brentwood.

Income in year one about £4K.

She was a woman ahead of her time, bereavement counselling thirty years ago was unknown and untested territory. It just was not talked about and so little understood. Her contribution, commitment and chairmanship in those first few years of the charity’s life were crucial to its continuing success.

I was last in touch with Louise about 4 years ago when we celebrated our 25th anniversary. She was then 92 but was delighted that we were still running, requested a copy of the annual report and quizzed me at length about our then £200k a year income!

A truly remarkable woman who had the foresight to set up a service that is more in demand today than any of us could have imagined thirty years ago.

RIP Louise - a job well done.