Sad passing of Plaistow community campaigner Elsie Lewis

A tireless education campaigner who helped build bridges with vulnerable sections of communities in Newham has died.

Elsie Lewis, who was born at Mile End Hospital, died on December 7 aged 74.

Friends have paid tribute to the woman who devoted her life to people, children and her community. She had three sons and adopted another. She also fostered 44 children. She worked with children with emotional and behavioural problems. Elsie, of Cumberland Road, Plaistow had a long history of local community involvement.

She spent most of her working life as a teacher and teacher trainer in the East End where she was a school governor and became involved in youth and church work through the Memorial Community Church of which she was a member all her life.

In the 1990s she spent several years running a lunch club organised by churches in the area to provide hot meals for asylum seekers, the homeless and others on the fringes of society. She was given the Civic Award in 2001.

Yvonne Fletcher, a member of the church, has known Elsie for 30 years. She told the Recorder: “She was an inspiration to many people. She loved people and she loved life.

“Her death is going to leave a big hole in the community.”

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A thanksgiving service will be held for Elsie at Memorial Community Church, 395 Barking Road, at 2pm tomorrow (Dec 15) after a burial.