Sister Isabel Kelly volunteered for Pace from 2008 up until the pandemic forced isolation in 2020. She brought a uniqueness to the volunteering role and offered her services to Pace in any capacity needed, including offering support and comfort to parents whose children were being exploited and travelling the country raising awareness of trafficking and exploitation.
Sister Isabel always brought so much energy and humour to any training and meeting she was involved in at Pace; often sharing anecdotes of her rich life experiences of working in Kenya, Manila, and South America, as well as closer to home in the wards at Blackburn hospital. It was when Pace began working in our first co-located role in Blackburn on the Engage team that we got to know Isabel.
In Blackburn she regularly attended meetings, sharing information she had gained from the community, often regarding concerns they had about young people potentially at risk of harm, or those they suspected causing the harm. She was so connected and cared so much about the community and it shone through.
She supported Pace in delivering the first community group for parents of exploited children in Blackburn. On the first day of the group, she was smiling and chatting to parents, knowing most of them already. They were all happy to see her, reminiscing about times Sister Isabel had raised their spirits with her stories.
Sister Isabel had a creative side and would often share poems she had written, usually about her observations on things happening around her or in the world. She also wrote and published a very amusing life story that really captured the sensitive, committed and humorous woman she was.
In 2019, Sister Isabel was diagnosed with bone cancer but continued with her ministries and raising awareness of the issues she was so passionate about. When the pandemic hit in 2020, she moved to delivering her services online or by phone.
In May 2021, she was informed that the cancer had spread and she may not be with us for much longer. On 28th May, Sister Isabel peacefully passed away, being cared for by her community that she dearly loved.
Sister Isabel, thank you for your tireless support, passion and commitment to Pace for over a decade. You will be greatly missed and always remembered.
Rest in peace, from all of your friends and parents at Pace.