In Memory of Joanne Matthias

It was with a heavy heart that I attended, today, the funeral of Joanne Matthias.  Joanne had been a member of Families Together London for many years and then took on the responsibility of keeping our website up-to-date.

Joanne trained as a nurse and later worked as a social worker and was a campaigner for human rights, right up to the time she was unable to perform these tasks.

Many of you will have spoken to Joanne when you first made contact with FTL.  She was one of the people who manned the helpline. Judging by the number of condolence emails I received from people who have in the past rung the helpline, Joanne made it much less daunting to take the first steps in acknowledging that there was an issue.

The funeral service was non-religious and there were many eulogies given by people she had worked with, friends and family.  The music interludes were the songs that she and Joe had loved and shared throughout their time together… Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’, ‘My Funny Valentine’, Nina Simone’s ‘Don’t Explain’ and other pieces too.

Joanne suffered with a progressive form of muscular dystrophy but throughout the time she was stricken by this awful disease, she showed continual courage, bravery and independence.

One meets many people throughout one’s life but some people make their mark for the good of mankind.  Joanne was one of those special people.

Jackie B

Rob Briggs