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A tribute to our colleague, Lesley Johnston

06 October 2021

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Lesley Johnston, Carers NI’s Advice and Information Officer, passed away last weekend.

Lesley worked at Carers NI for almost 20 years and during that time was an integral part of our advice and information service, especially our Adviceline, where she provided information, advice and support to thousands of carers in Northern Ireland and across the UK. She did so with kindness, empathy and respect.

Her expertise and knowledge of the legislation, policy and practice relating to all aspects of carers lives was widely recognised across the country. For many years Lesley convened the Carers Workers Network, bringing together professionals from the public and voluntary sector who worked directly with carers, keeping everyone updated on the current issues carers were dealing with and sharing good practice. She also played an important role within the Helplines Network and the Cliff Edge Coalition, ensuring carers issues and supports were regularly highlighted.

As legislation and circumstances changed, Lesley was always conscientious in ensuring that our information was up-to-date, accurate and relevant to carers living in Northern Ireland, across our publications, website and social media channels. She played a vital role in the development of a number of regional publications including our When caring ends or changes factsheet and the Department of Health's guidance for carers during the pandemic.

Lesley developed and maintained long standing friendships with colleagues across all parts of the UK and despite not seeing many people face to face in recent years always seemed to know what was going on across the organisation. Her knowledge of carers issues and her passion and commitment to her work were invaluable and she will be sorely missed by all her colleagues and those that worked with her.

Our thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends as we all try to come to terms with this deeply upsetting loss.

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