Tributes have been paid to Chris Frost, chief executive of Merton Voluntary Service Council, who died this week.
Frost, who was 67 and had been with MVSC since she helped to found it in 1985, died in her sleep in the early hours of Thursday morning.
She was regarded as one of the leading champions of the Compact, the agreement between the public and voluntary sectors that sets out how they should behave towards each other, and last year was given the Compact Leadership Award by Compact Voice, which represents the voluntary sector on the Compact.
Her organisation’s work on the Compact was also recognised at this year’s Compact Awards event, which was held on Wednesday evening.
A statement from MVSC said: "On Wednesday evening, Chris attended the Compact Awards. She was very proud to see the Merton Compact shortlisted for all six awards, and winning the chair’s special award. This achievement epitomised her love for the voluntary sector in Merton and her firm belief in partnership working.
"Chris will be dearly missed and our thoughts are with her family at this very difficult time."
Joe Irvin, chief executive of the local infrastructure body Navca, said: "Chris was a stellar presence in the voluntary sector and within our movement.
"She was loved and admired as a passionate advocate for voluntary action and someone who made the seemingly impossible possible. Our movement has lost someone very special and our thoughts go out to her family."
A spokeswoman for the organisation said Frost was "an enthusiastic, genuine and passionate champion of the voluntary sector" and a "tireless advocate of partnership working".
"For more than 30 years, Chris was instrumental in improving the way in which different sectors work together," she said. "Her enthusiasm was infectious and inspiring to all who met her, and her leadership set an example for many others, helping to make a difference not just in Merton, but nationally."