Liz Blackender, our friend and colleague, Manager of the City of London Outreach team, passed away on Tuesday, 16 January, after bravely battling illness for many months.
Liz had worked for St Mungo’s, and Broadway, since 2002. She will be remembered as one of the pioneers and innovators in outreach work.
In particular, she worked with the City of London Corporation to pioneer an approach that used personal budgets to help people who had lived on the streets for long periods to take control of their journey away from rough sleeping. This personalisation work not only helped many people who had slept rough sometimes for decades to rebuild their lives but also influenced the way we now deliver services. She never gave up on anyone, loved her work and helped hundreds of people off the streets of London.
In all her time with us, she did not have a day off sick until she could no longer physically come into work. Right to the end of her career, she was still outreaching to some of the most vulnerable people on our streets. She knew every name of every person she had ever worked with and was an incredible story teller. She is already sorely missed.
Loved and respected by service users as well as all her colleagues, she was one of the most caring, no nonsense and hardworking of our staff. She was also a fantastic role model and an inspiration to colleagues.
Our thoughts are now with all her loved ones, and especially the daughter she leaves behind.
Her funeral will take place on Friday 26 January, with a funeral procession from NW1 1BD at 12.45pm to Marylebone Crematorium, East Finchley, N2 0RZ for a 2pm service.
Her daughter has asked people attending to wear something purple in memory: “My mum was a very colourful person, her favourite colour was purple, please try to add a bit to your attire.”
St Mungo’s has opened of Book of Condolence. If anyone wishes to leave a message, please email Kathleen.Sims@mungos.org