Home Local News More than just a ‘Kirkby Gran’

More than just a ‘Kirkby Gran’

Karen Dempsey
Karen Dempsey

It is with great sadness that the board and team at SWLICAN announce the tragic death of one of their key team members Karen Dempsey.

Karen joined our Skelmersdale benefit, debt and IT advice charity in 2019 and had served the community of West Lancs with unstinting energy and commitment as a welfare rights adviser to provide the desperately needed support to the residents of our community.

All the volunteers, staff and board members of the charity would like to acknowledge the wide range of knowledge, skills, hard work, dedication and smiles Karen brought to the team and her incredible empathy for all of the people who have used the SWLICAN service.

Paul McConnell, Chair of SWLICAN said “Karen wasn’t only a community champion but a women’s champion, life-long activist and advocate for the rights of local people. She helped start up the Kirkby Unemployed Centre as a volunteer and then lead advice worker. Together with her sister Lynne, helped thousands of people in the Knowsley area right up to its closing in 2014. Most would have walked away after its closure, but not Karen and Lynne they set up their own welfare rights service (T.A.S.C.) in Northwood, Kirkby at the very heart of their community, working many years for little or no reward as it was always about getting social justice for the People.

SWLICAN employed Karen and Lynne part-time, the Dynamic Duo, in 2019 and we have not looked back since as Karen has gone on to deliver welfare rights training to individuals, volunteers, groups and professionals across the North West.

Karen will be very much missed by everyone who’s lives she touched and missed beyond words by everyone at SWLICAN.

Our immediate thoughts are with her family and friends, especially her sister Lynne who also worked alongside Karen, Jimmy, Ian, Jan, John and Tess to provide SWLICAN’s advice service.

Karen’s death has been a shock to us all and it will be impossible to replace the unique contribution she brought to the charity’s work. The board would ask for patience and understanding at this time as the entire SWLICAN team come to terms with the tragic and senseless loss of our colleague. We will update stakeholders about the immediate and longer-term changes to our service provision as soon as details are finalised”.

RIP Karen, you were taken from us much too soon your legacy will live on. All our love x

South West Lancashire Independent Community Advice Network, The Ecumenical Centre, Northway Skelmersdale WN8 6PN.

Tel: 01695 726269      e-mails advice@swlican.org or admin@swlican.org

Paul McConnell



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