16th March 1965 – 4th June 2010
Helen grew up in Hornchurch, Essex. She has one brother John. She moved to Gloucester when she was 18 to study Photography.
However following a road traffic accident, she began working with young people and eventually she went to University to Study Community & Youth Work. After university, Helen become the first member of staff of Gloucestershire Young Carers, She was instrumental in setting up the organisation, which offers support to young carers and their families throughout Gloucestershire.
Helen, chose to help young carers in the early 1990s after being inspired by a documentary on television. When Gloucestershire Social Services looked to appoint a Young Carers Development Worker, she jumped at the chance, and through her work the organisation grew and evolved, took on more staff and with Helen as its Chief Executive, became a much respected Project, both locally and nationally. Helen was respected, throughout the Country, as an expert on Young Carers and was often invited to give keynote speeches at conferences .
During Helen’s time in Gloucester she met and married me (Peter Lay). She brought up children Sophie, and Samuel, and two stepsons, Simon and Jonathan. Helen was a dedicated and loving mother, committed to encouraging her children in their talents, and she was proud of their achievements – not only their academic successes but also those in the field of drama and music.
Helen was also, a talented artist and photographer.
Throughout all of this her commitment to her children and her friends, her sense of justice and support of people in difficulty and her determination to have the needs of young carers recognised and met by high quality services, remained undimmed.
Helen passed away on 4th June 2010, aged 45, after suffering several strokes and battling pneumonia for several weeks.
She was much loved by her family and was a great influence on the lives of many.