Tributes have been paid to dedicated charity worker and borough Freeman Eunice Whittaker.
Eunice passed away from an age-related heart condition at Royal Blackburn Hospital aged 84.
A former senior college lecturer specialising in history, Eunice, of Fernlea Drive, Clayton-le-Moors, was well known across the borough for her tireless volunteering, with the Citizens Advice Bureau and for St Peters Church in Accrington.
She was a founding member of the Hyndburn Used Furniture Store (HUFS) charity in 2004 which helped struggling households with furniture until it closed earlier this year.
She died on Friday, December 9.
Her nephew, Ian Whittaker said that volunteering with St Peters was ‘one of the main pillars of her life’.
He said: “There was only the role of the vicar that she didn’t do, because she did almost everything else. She just wanted to give back to her community in every way she could. Helping people was her main goal.
“She was extremely proud to be given Freedom of the Borough, and of what it represented.
“It’s a great loss. She was failing in her health but her death was a shock to us. I think she would be most proud with the flag flying at half-mast at the town hall for her. It doesn’t happen for everyone, it’s a tribute to her and everything she did.”
St Andrews ward councillor Peter Britcliffe bestowed Eunice the honour of Freedom of the Borough when he was Hyndburn council leader. He said: “I was saddened to hear of Eunice’s death. She was a lovely lady and was a great stalwart of the Citizen Advice Bureau.
“A great worker and ambassador of the area. She was steeped in the traditions of Accrington and worked passionately to take the township forward. I feel proud to think that she became a Freeman of the Borough under my stewardship of the Council.
"The area is just that little bit poorer for Eunice’s passing.”
Phil Barwood, chair of the Prospects Foundation, was a board member of HUFS. He said: “I always saw her as a very kind and generous person who actively cared a great deal about people, especially those who had fallen on hard times. So she will be greatly missed.”
A sports fan, Eunice was a lifelong follower of Accrington Stanley and Lancashire Cricket Club member and England cricket fan.
Current Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “It’s very sad and our thoughts are with the family. Anyone who has been given the honour of the Freedom of the Borough has served in a capacity which has excelled.
"It’s a very rare honour bestowed on the citizens of Hyndburn.”