Tributes paid to Wolverhampton housing champion and community leader Ann Guest

Tributes have been made to a Wolverhampton community pioneer following her death.

Ann Guest MBE, who has died at the age of 84
Ann Guest MBE, who has died at the age of 84

Ann Guest MBE died after a short illness at the age of 84, on Friday, June 25, at New Cross Hospital, leaving behind a legacy as a community champion and a driving force for housing projects in the city.

Mrs Guest was well known across Wolverhampton and among public sector figures for her commitment to her community, having established the Spring Valley Tenants and Residents Association in 1987, while living on the estate on Cannock Road.

She also served on numerous committees including Wolverhampton Homes’ Leasehold Forum and tenant action groups and was chair of the Federation of Tenants Associations.

Her outstanding service to the community was recognised in October 2000 when she was made an MBE by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

Fellow resident in Spring Valley and close friend, Enid Slade MBE, said Mrs Guest was a real community champion, and spoke of her leadership skills.

She said: "She wasn’t one to mince her words, and if something didn’t sit well with her, you’d be sure to hear about it.

"She was a powerful woman with a strong voice, which she regularly used to speak up on behalf of her fellow residents."

Wolverhampton Homes, which manages around 22,000 homes on behalf of the council, said that Mrs Guest was a driving force in the planning and delivery of many citywide projects.

These include its Decent Homes programme, which saw thousands of properties improved with new kitchens and bathrooms between 2008 and 2015, and the capital investment programme, which is bringing in fire safety and energy performance enhancements.

Shaun Aldis, chief executive of Wolverhampton Homes, said: "I was deeply saddened to hear of Ann’s passing.

"Her desire and commitment to helping others, particularly the vulnerable, was truly inspirational.

"When she wasn’t getting involved in citywide initiatives, she was supporting people at Coven Lodge, the Spring Valley community centre where she took a very ‘hands on’ approach.

"Ann will forever be known for her passion and dedication to community service. She’ll be sorely missed by so many within Wolverhampton Homes and across the city."

Mrs Guest's daughters, Jacqueline and Kim, and grandsons, Jamie and Mitchell, said they had been overwhelmed by the support and kind words they had received from Wolverhampton Homes and representatives of the community.

The family said: "We are very proud of what she achieved in her lifetime; she especially liked working with Wolverhampton Homes.

"Her proudest moment was receiving her MBE from Prince Charles.

"Mum was one of a kind and has left a big hole in our hearts. She will be so sadly missed by all the family. May she rest in peace."

The funeral service for Mrs Guest will be held on Monday, July 26 at St Peter's Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton at 1.15pm, followed by cremation at Bushbury West Chapel.

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