TRIBUTES have been paid to woman with a “selfless spirit” who made a significant contribution to lives of many people in Ryedale.
Jacqui Griffiths died suddenly at her home in Norton last weekend, aged 74.
A major with the Salvation Army, Jacqui took over the role as manager of Ryedale Foodbank two years ago.
Since then the foodbank has expanded its services giving more than 2,300 emergency food supplies to people in crisis over the last year.
Reverend Malcolm Dyer, chairperson of Ryedale Foodbank Steering Group, said: “We are heartbroken at the news of Jacqui’s passing last weekend, this was devastating news for everyone involved in Ryedale Foodbank.
“Jacqui made a significant contribution to the lives of many people in the Ryedale area and she will be sorely missed.”
Rev Dyer added: “Jacqui’s selfless spirit and dedication to helping people in crisis has been a beacon of light and hope for everyone in our community – and it is a legacy that will live on through the work of the foodbank.
“Personally, I had worked with Jacqui some years ago when she was leading a Salvation Army work in central Manchester, and I was so pleased when Jacqui was appointed to manage Ryedale Foodbank.
“I had complete confidence in her skills and abilities and her compassionate heart for those in need.
“This became so apparent in the face of this pandemic as she selflessly made herself available so that individuals and families would not go hungry.
He added: “We will so miss her compassion and strong community spirit,”
John MacKenzie, a long-term volunteer with Ryedale Foodbank, said: “Jacqui’s untimely passing will be felt by many in our community who knew her.
“The tributes by so many different groups bears testament to that.”
He added: “Jacqui worked hard to help develop Ryedale Foodbank to its full potential and will be missed by all of us who knew and worked closely with her.”
Prior to moving to Norton, Jacqui was secretary of the Bolton Street Angels, which she had helped set up and volunteered with for more than nine years.
A fellow member said: “Jacqui left her legacy in Bolton as she played a huge part in management of Bolton Street Angels and out on the streets in the small hours giving non judgemental support.
“It is what she did. It's who she was.
“The world will be a poorer place without her.”
Simon Cardy, who met Jacqui through the Salvation Army, said: “I feel very sad to hear that Major Jacqui Griffiths has died.
He added: “However, sorrow is countered by deep, deep gratitude for knowing a minister and friend who not only married Karen and I, but was also the first minister I met who was fully inclusive of any and all that had been excluded.”