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Inspirational Traveller

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  March 13, 2012 |

Kathleen MorrisonBy Alison Bellamy in the Yorkshire Evening Post

The death of an “inspirational” woman has left the travelling community heartbroken.

Young mother Kathleen Lowther Morrison has died from cancer, at the age of 33. She leaves her husband, two sons aged 14 and 13 and her three-year-old daughter and her mother. Kathleen also leaves friends and colleagues at Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange, where she worked.

She was born in Leeds in 1978 and grew up in a large travelling community. Her mother is an Irish Traveller and her late father a Gypsy. She lost her son Connor Lee shortly after his birth in 2000.

She had lived in many places in and around Leeds before returning to live in her caravan at her mum’s home at Cottingley Springs when she became ill. She died at home last Tuesday, surrounded by her family, six months after receiving her diagnosis with cancer which spread throughout her body.

Helen Jones, of Leeds GATE, paid tribute to her friend saying: “Kathleen began work at Leeds GATE in 2005, as a volunteer then as youth inclusion co-ordinator.

“Through her work, and her life, she has been an inspiration and role model to a whole generation of young people and their families.

“Kathleen was a person of hugely generous spirit. She hated injustice and suffering experienced by all children and young people but particularly those of her own community.

“She worked to provide young people with positive experiences and to raise awareness of the depravations that Gypsy and Irish Traveller young people suffer.

“Without having a complete education, Kathleen’s literacy was basic but she used what education she had to complement her keen intelligence and insight. She could engage with people in any setting no matter how unfamiliar to her it was, including learning to speak in public, particularly in respect of her work around domestic violence.

“Kathleen was an immensely spiritual and courageous person who drew comfort from her Catholic faith.”

Her family said anyone who knew her was welcome to attend her funeral, tomorrow at St Francis of Assissi Catholic Church, in Beeston Hill, South Leeds.

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