Tributes to ‘char­ac­ter’ Linda who was ‘turn­ing life around’

TROU­BLED WOMAN DIES AT AGE OF 50

Burton Mail - - News - By HE­LEN KREFT he­len.kreft@reach­plc.com @he­len_kreft

SUP­PORT group work­ers have told of their sad­ness af­ter a well-known Bur­ton char­ac­ter who was start­ing to “turn her life around” died sud­denly.

Work­ers at vol­un­tary com­mu­nity groups Bur­ton Hope and Bur­ton Soup Kitchen have ex­pressed their up­set fol­low­ing the death of Linda Grimes.

Through tears, Bur­ton Soup Kitchen’s Mick Cramp de­scribed Miss Grimes as a “char­ac­ter” who was try­ing to im­prove her life be­fore her un­timely death at the age of just 50.

The soup kitchen is char­ity run and pro­vides meals for home­less peo­ple in the town.

John An­der­son, of Bur­ton Hope which pro­vides sup­port to home­less across the town, also paid trib­ute say­ing that vol­un­teers had a lot of “ban­ter” with Miss Grimes.

She had of­ten found her­self in court over the years for shoplift­ing of­fences and for breach­ing her crim­i­nal be­hav­iour order and had been im­pris­oned on sev­eral oc­ca­sions.

How­ever, Mr Cramp said she had been try­ing to turn her life around and he and sev­eral other mem­bers of his staff had ac­tu­ally been writ­ing to her in prison.

He said: “She came in oc­ca­sion­ally but not just lately be­cause she was in prison. We did get on with her very well. There was never any trou­ble from her.

“We started writ­ing to her when I found out she was in Fos­ton Prison.

“We think she was happy in there be­cause she was learn­ing some­thing and try­ing to im­prove her life. I think she was try­ing to find God.

“We were try­ing to get her to be­lieve in her­self if she could. She didn’t re­alise that so many peo­ple cared about her.

“She gave us a nice re­ply. She was grate­ful that some­one was think­ing of her. She was a char­ac­ter.

“We did find her want­ing at times be­cause there was no struc­ture for pris­on­ers when they come out of prison.

“She wanted to break the cir­cle but all her friends were like they are. She wished she could move to Stoke and into a new regime which might have made her break the habit.

“She was try­ing to move away from her orig­i­nal cir­cle of friends.

“She was all right with us. She would talk to some of our staff and we would help her.

“I have known her for many years since we were in Mose­ley Street. Some­times she would come in ev­ery week but then weeks and weeks would some­times go by and we wouldn’t see her. I still can’t be­lieve it.”

Mr An­der­son, from Bur­ton Hope, which also helps home­less peo­ple, said: “Our vol­un­teers that worked with Linda are sad­dened to hear of her un­timely pass­ing.

“We al­ways had a laugh and a joke and a lot of ban­ter with Linda and we will miss her dearly. I would like to of­fer our sin­cere con­do­lences to Linda’s fam­ily on be­half of Bur­ton Hope.”

Miss Grimes died on Septem­ber 28 and her funeral was held on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 11 and was de­scribed by Mr An­der­son as “very well at­tended”.

Do­na­tions will be made to the RSPCA and can be made on­line by vis­it­ing the web­site www.fu­ner­al­zone. co.uk/obit­u­ar­ies/52199.

Linda Grimes

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