Tributes paid to South Shields youth manager who helped turn young people's lives around
Tributes have been paid to a woman described as a leading light in helping young people to turn their lives around.
Youth worker Pam Vedhara, who worked tirelessly to help improve the lives of youngsters in the borough, died at the age of 61 on Tuesday following a short illness.
In 2010, Pam was recognised by the Queen for her work when she was awarded an MBE.
She was the key player in setting up the nationally acclaimed Safestop scheme in South Tyneside which helped slash youth-related anti-social behaviour across the borough.
South Tyneside Council leader, Coun Iain Malcolm, said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of a dedicated and highly respected member of our staff.
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“Pam brought a unique character to her work with young people in South Tyneside over many years with a strong value base that always put the interests of the young person at the heart of everything she did. She will be sadly missed.
“She was an absolute credit to the council. She was a true ambassador for the borough. Our thoughts are with Pam’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Steve Prested, who worked on Operation Safestop with Pam, said: “Pam was an unique person who had an overwhelming passion for supporting young people. Her drive and determination was commendable and she wouldn’t let anything stand in her way in doing what she felt was right for the young people of South Tyneside.
“Operation Safestop was her baby and she worked hard to ensure it was a success. Pam is going to be a big miss to us all and to me both in a professional capacity and as a friend.”
Shuley Allam, manager at Compact for Race Equality in South Tyneside, where Pam was a trustee said: “Pam will be greatly missed. She has been a trustee since the beginning and has been a great support, not just to the charity but also to me personally.
“She was an inspiration to myself and to others and was passionate about equality and diversity. She was a leading light in South Tyneside and is such a big loss to us all.”
Retired Neighbourhood Inspector Peter Sutton who worked alongside Pam on a number of initiatives over the years said: “Pam was very well-respected and very forward thinking in her approach to working with young people. She firmly kept them at the very heart of everything she did and the initiatives she implemented.
“She was a larger than life character and would always challenge the norm to ensure young people always had the best opportunities in life.”