Tributes After Sudden Death Of Volunteer Stalwart

Chris Frost dies in her sleep at the age of 67

Tributes have poured in after the sudden death of Chris Frost, Chief Executive of the Merton Voluntary Services Council (MVSC).

Chris, who was 67 and lived in Colliers Wood, had picked up a prestigious award just hours before when she won the 'Chair's Award' at the Compact Awards ceremony in Whitehall.

She died in her sleep in the early hours of Thursday November 7.

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."

A minute's silence in her memory will be held at the Merton Partnership Conference in Merton Baptist Church on Thursday (November 14). A Book of Condolence will also be available from that day.

Merton Council Leader Stephen Alambritis said: "Our condolences go out to Chris's work colleagues, friends and family at this very difficult time. Everyone at the council is in shock.

"Chris was a lively person who captured the spirit of what the voluntary sector is all about – energy, drive and enthusiasm. She made an enormous difference to the lives of people in Merton and was an ambassador for working in partnership. She will be sorely missed. Merton is a poorer place without her."

Councillor Oonagh Moulton, Leader of Merton Conservative Group said: "I am extremely saddened and shocked to learn the terrible news of Chris's death. On behalf of Merton’s Conservative councillors, I extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to all her family, friends and colleagues at MVSC at this difficult time.

"Many of us have known Chris for a number of years and have always been impressed with her energy and enthusiasm for everything she did and her devotion to improving the lives of residents by making the voluntary sector in Merton the very best it can possibly be. She leaves a gap that will be very hard to fill."

Police Borough Commander Darren Williams said: "In my time at Merton, Chris Frost has probably been my most favourite partner to work with. Her infectious enthusiasm and cheeky humour made many meetings not only fun but made people warm to her personally and want to work with her and her team.

"It was only last week that Chris was my special guest at the Crime Museum in New Scotland Yard and I will treasure the fun we had there as it was the last time I saw her. I will miss her a lot and Merton will not be the same without her. My thoughts are with her family at this difficult time."

She had been a trustee of Compact Voice for the past six years. A spokeswoman for the organisation said she 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."

Chris was instrumental in setting up MVSC in 1985 as the very first employee, moving to Merton from Mansfield and a career in social work. In the following 28 years she grew MVSC into the highly influential and successful organisation that it is today.

She led MVSC and the local voluntary sector to achieve many awards. In 2012 she was awarded the Compact Leadership Award, for consistent championing and supporting the Compact and with the Merton Compact in 2013 won the Chair’s Special Award. She led MVSC to achieve the NAVCA quality award, Investors in People Bronze award, Carbon Smart silver certified among many others.

November 8, 2013

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