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Barbara Hughes (1931-2023)

Published on 09 August 2023 01:33 PM

Age UK Camden's long serving trustee Barbara Hughes has sadly died aged 92. Barbara was a member of the Board of Trustees for 16 years, including six as Chair. She stood down only last year.

Age UK Camden’s former CEO, Gary Jones, said:

“Barbara was co-opted to the Executive Committee of Age Concern Camden (as was) in early 2006, just as she was preparing to stand down as a Camden Labour councillor (Kings Cross ward) and the Mayor at the May 2006 elections. She was then elected Chair of the Charity at the Annual General Meeting later that year and served six years as Chair, the maximum under the constitution. Subsequent chairs Janet Guthrie and Mary Burd, then encouraged Barbara to stay on as an ‘ordinary’ trustee and valued her counsel immensely.

“However, Barbara was far from ordinary. She knew nearly everyone in the Council, having been Mayor three times, and in the voluntary sector, from her involvement with Coram’s Fields, New Horizon Youth Centre, Somers Town Community Centre, and St Pancras Community Centre. Camden turned Lib Dem/Conservative in 2006 (for four years), but Barbara was well respected across the political spectrum and among officers, opening many doors.  Supported by Virendra Ahuja as Vice-Chair and Brenda Felstead as Treasurer, Barbara encouraged the Charity to develop new services around dementia and LGBTQ+ older people. She was wonderfully supportive of me and the wider staff and volunteer team too.

“In later years, Barbara was instrumental in Age UK Camden setting up Personalisation Support in Camden, supporting those with care needs to take control, and developing Ageing Better in Camden (ABC). In ABC she supported good governance and was an authentic user voice, as she herself became frailer.”

Janet Guthrie, former Chair of Age UK Camden, added:

“Barbara will be sorely missed, and I will personally miss her as I followed in her footsteps, working with her on Camden Council when she was Mayor and succeeding her as the Chair of Age UK Camden. Her energy and commitment to the causes she supported meant that she was a hard act to follow, and she will be greatly missed.”

Age UK is honoured that Barbara and her family chose Age UK Camden, alongside Coram’s Fields, as the charities to which to donate in lieu of flowers.

Further tributes to Barbara can be read here: