Thursday, March 04, 2010

Karen Harold RIP

(Note change of time for funeral service, now moved to 2pm)

Karen Harold was an extraordinary woman, a very hard working and extremely well respected Liverpool City Council Officer. But she was also a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend to many.

I first met her in 2006 when I was elected to the City Council and Karen was one of the Community Officers for Kensington Regeneration. You only had to meet Karen once to become her friend. She was a warm-hearted, enthusiastic advocate for her residents, she loved working with people, sharing their dreams, their joy and their plans but also sympathising with them over their difficulties. If you had Karen on your side then you could take on the world. But her enthusiasm did not run only to her official work, she was also a keen volunteer working in her community in Fairfield, Kensington and across Liverpool on all sorts of projects and committees in her own time.

I last saw her only a few weeks ago when she was with her family, supporting her mother's successful bid for funds for the Kensington Majorettes at the Participatory Budgeting meeting for our area. We hugged - Karen was someone with whom hugging was mandatory - and caught up on how she was doing in her new job. I was delighted to hear how much she was enjoying it.

It was therefore devastating to hear the news that Karen suffered a massive stroke on Friday and never recovered from the ensuing blood clot. Her life support machine was subsequently turned off a few days later.

In true Karen fashion, she had already organised with Kevin her husband what she wanted and she donated many of her organs.

Maria Curran, Karen's friend and colleague (pictured above with Karen) has said "She had the biggest heart and her arms would have spread around the world if they could and never think about the time it would take to make a difference. Everyone’s time was her time. She was selfless, dedicated, a warm mother figure to everyone including me. I shared many emotional moments with Karen and was the recipient of many a Karen hug and welcomed the comfort I got there."

Laura Pover, another friend and colleague from Kensington Regeneration has said

"After speaking with her family it has been decided to put a collection together to make a donation to the Joseph Lappin Foundation. Joseph was a friend of Karen’s youngest son Greg but sadly Joseph was murdered last year. Karen has been involved heavily with a street campaign to get Guns and Knives off our streets ever since.

It is her family’s wish that there be no flowers but donations made to the above foundation. The foundation is in the early stages of development therefore if you would like to make a donation there is a collection ongoing in the Admin office at Kensington Regeneration at the Job Bank on Wavertree Road, and after Friday 5th March, Maria Curran in the upstairs office will take over from me with this."

Billy Maxwell, Liverpool City Council Neighbourhood Manager for Liverpool South Central said "We are deeply saddened. This unique, caring and much loved woman will be hugely missed".

The Bishop's Office advise that Karen's funeral is Friday 12th March at 2.00 at the Anglican Cathedral.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece about my friend Karen. She was exactly as you described and I will miss her terribly.

Anonymous said...

The best friend anyone could ever wish to have. The most amazing sense of humour, a heart of gold. So unfair to take away from her a life she shared with everyone.
My heart goes out to all her family. Goodnight and God Bless my special friend...

Anonymous said...

Those we love remain with us
For love itself lives on,
And cherished memories never fade
Because a loved one's gone.
Those we love can never be
More than a thought apart,
Far as long as there is memory,
They'll live on in the heart.

Karen, truly one in a million.
Sleep peacefully dear. xx

Simon @ Plantscape said...

I first met Karen last November whilst supplying the council with our solar Christmas trees. I remarked then to staff at our office what a lovely lady she was to deal with. We exchanged emails up until a few weeks ago and it wasn’t until today that we found out this awful news.

I’m choked and still in shock. Why does this happen to the good ones ?

God bless

Simon @ Plantscape

Julie said...

Even in death Karen has gone on to do what she did best...she has helped others and their families to live better lives.
Karen was such a lovely lady ...we only met now and then but every time we did meet it was as if we'd only seen each other a few days before. She oozed vitality and life and the world will be a sadder place without her.
Kev and boys..keep strong as its what Karen would have wanted.
Julie John and Bobby Fearnehough

Anonymous said...

I didn't meet Karen until the other year on some training courses with work.
Karen was instantly likeable, bubbly, committed and genuine.
She'll be missed by all the people she obviously made a huge difference to and to those like myself who only recently enjoyed her company.
My thoughts go to her family and friends.

Anonymous said...

Karens funeral was attended by more than 600 people. That's testimony to how lovely she was, how hardworking, dedicated and much loved and respected. The Bishop mentioned her being an unsung true are those words.
Farewell Karen, until next we meet.