The untimely death of Cathy Gaunt has deprived us of a person who cared passionately about the lot of deprived communities and people. She came into contact with many people who owe her a debt of gratitude. A person with strong convictions she had many discussions with me on poverty issues: the role of credit unions and food banks in particular. I am proud to have known her as a colleague when I worked at Voluntary Action within Kent, even though she did run her car over my foot when I was assisting her to park the vehicle.
I met Cathy for the first time at a meeting held at Tonbridge Connexions when she was working for Tonbridge YWCA. She moved to a post in Brighton where she worked in a neighbourhood regeneration programme as part of the 50+ Community Programme Team developing support and services for older people in one of the city's most deprived areas.
Her next post was in Tunbridge Wells with VAWK where she worked on a project supporting people with HIV and AIDS. Later, she took on the role of co-ordinator of 121 Befriending.
Not a glory seeker (unlike too many in the voluntary sector) Cathy just got on with the job. Many whose lives she touched will be saddened by her death.