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Champion of the homeless dies at the age of 79

Patricia McCabe
Patricia McCabe

A "community champion" who put the issue of helping Maidstone’s homeless people on the map, has died aged 79.

Patricia McCabe, from Allington, who was made an MBE for her community work, died on Saturday.

In 1986 while she was deputy head teacher at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, Miss McCabe and head teacher Mary Harvey, and a group of students, started a soup run for people living on the streets.

The regular soup runs became the basis of Maidstone Christian Care, a charity caring for homeless people.

Miss McCabe was instrumental in the charity being able to rent its first building in 1995, Lenworth House in Ashford Road, Maidstone . It moved to a modern purpose-built day centre in Knightrider Street, Maidstone, in 2004.

Miss McCabe retired from the charity in 2005, after 20 years of helping people in need.

The charity’s fund-raiser and trustee, Angela Clay, who first met Miss McCabe when she attended one of her soup runs, said: "There will be a big hole in the community without Patricia.

"The fact the charity has helped thousands of homeless people and is so well respected in Maidstone today is down to her.

"She had a vision that she wanted to do something to help people. She would pack up her little Astra car with huge flasks of soup and food and we would stand by the river together."

Mrs Clay added: "She was practical and down to earth. She was never judgemental and didn’t worry what someone had done in their past, but gave practical help where she could."

Did you know Miss McCabe? If you would like to pay tribute to her fill in the form below or email messengernews@thekmgroup.co.uk

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