Rachel Griffin, chief executive of the personal safety charity the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, has died from cancer aged 42.
Former colleagues from across the sector paid tribute to Griffin, describing her as "a brilliant leader" and "a world-class human being" who was passionate about her work.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust tweeted yesterday that Griffin had passed away on Saturday.
We are sad to announce that our CEO, Rachel Griffin, passed away on Saturday. She will be sorely missed by all of her colleagues at Suzy Lamplugh Trust. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. pic.twitter.com/wUG7IveFMN— Suzy Lamplugh Trust (@live_life_safe) August 27, 2019
In a statement, Suky Bhaker, acting chief executive of the SLT, told Third Sector: "Rachel was committed to furthering the work of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. She was a passionate advocate for victims. "
She credited Griffin's leadership with helping the charity to reach more people than ever before through its training, community development projects and advice, and through the development of the National Stalking Helpline, which to date has supported more than 30,000 victims.
Under Griffin's leadership, the trust had also campaigned to bring in specific laws for the offence of stalking and persuaded the government to legislate on national minimum standards for taxis and private-hire vehicles, said Bhaker.
"I know I speak on behalf of many colleagues when I say it has been a privilege working with Rachel," said Bhaker.
"Rachel was an inspiring leader and generous colleague who will be missed immensely by all those who worked with her, past and present. Our thoughts are with Rachel’s husband Dave and all those who knew and loved her."
Sir Ian Johnson, the chair of the SLT, said everyone at the charity was "heartbroken at Rachel’s departure from this world".
He said: "I have known and admired Rachel since her time with the trust began seven years ago. I have also had the privilege of working with some highly talented people elsewhere in my life, and Rachel was definitely in the Premier League of managers with whom I worked.
"She was intelligent, challenging, determined, personable, caring and what I would describe overall as a world-class human being. Her impact on the trust has been enormous and will be lasting.
"I will miss her terribly, both as a professional and a friend."
Griffin joined the charity in 2012, having previously served as the national manager for victims' services advocates at Victim Support.
She previously worked at Voice for the Child in Care and at the Prince's Trust.
Griffin began her career as vice president for women at the Oxford Student Union, having graduated from Oxford with a degree in modern languages.
She was also a trustee of the Prisoners' Education Trust between 2003 and 2011.
Claire Waxman, the Victims' Commissioner for London, tweeted that she was "personally devastated" by the news and described Griffin as someone who was supportive and "worked tirelessly" for better support for victims of stalking.
Kristiana Wrixon, Griffin's former colleague at the SLT, who is now head of policy at the charity leaders' body Acevo, said on Twitter: "Rachel was a wonderful woman, a brilliant leader, feminist and friend. I will miss her but she taught me so much and I am so grateful for that."
Citizens Advice Chiltern described her as "a lovely lady". The domestic abuse consultant John Trott said he had been "privileged to have had meetings with Rachel through our work", describing her as "so passionate" about her work, her team at the SLT and helping victims and survivors of stalking.
Laura Richards tweeted: "I am so sorry to hear this. Rachel was a bubbly, bright light who always wanted to make things better to help and support victims of stalking."
Twitter use John Kirby said her work with the Prisoners’ Education Trust would not be forgotten.