HELEN FORREST – BEDROCK OF THE CLACKMANNANSHIRE COMMUNITY
A former nurse from Ayrshire, Helen Forrest throughout her time in Clackmannanshire , showed the same selfless commitment to the community that she had to patients in her former profession. The rights of tenants and their welfare drove her to become a member of Clackmannanshire Tenants and Residents Federation; she was committed to upholding equal opportunities and providing a voice for all sections of the community, regardless of gender, race, age or religion. She was a strong and determined advocate in meetings with other federations, housing associations and government bodies throughout Scotland. As secretary, she was the mainstay of the organisation and a well informed voice that was always heard with respect and admiration.
Helen recognised the great benefits for her community that could be reaped from a self-help financial organisation and so, in 1997, she with others in the community launched Tullibody Credit Union. It provided a savings and affordable loan resource , owned and managed by its members. Its ideals and philosophy were in tune with the admirable beliefs in the strength of community that Helen had espoused throughout her life. In 2003, she was President when the decision was taken to assimilate the Alloa Savings Group and extend membership to all those , living and working in the Clackmannanshire area. The new body became Clackmannanshire Credit Union and Helen held most of its major offices during the seven years that she was a member of the Board of Directors. That it continues to flourish and provide affordable services to its members today is a tribute to the solid foundation, laid by Helen and her colleagues nearly thirty years ago.
The words ‘icon’ and ‘hero ‘ are sprayed around loosely in modern parlance; Helen Forrest’s record of service to her community was outstanding and she was deservedly an icon within it.
She and her work will be sadly missed by many but most especially by her family and friends, to whom sincere sympathy is extended.
May Helen, this renowned and devoted community servant, rest in peace. By John Patton on 13/05/2020