Church leaders, community groups and anti-gun charities have paid tribute to Ms Pat Regan, a mother who became a prominent campaigner against violence after she lost her son in what was dubbed 'an underworld style shooting' in 2002.
Earlier this month, on 2 June, Ms Regan was found stabbed to death in her flat in Leeds. Her 20-year-old grandson, Rakeim Regan, has subsequently been charged with her murder.
Among the many anti-gun charities that Pat Regan worked with was Mothers Against Violence Manchester, Redcar Families for Peace, Don’t Trigger, MAMA (Mothers Against Murder and Aggression) and a Christian one called Bringing Hope.
In a joint statement issued last week, they declared: “As coordinator for Mothers Against Violence (MAV) in Yorkshire Pat tirelessly channelled her own grief to effect change, challenge policies and to divert children and young people from lifestyles glorifying knife and gun crime. We will miss her terribly, our condolences go out to her family.”
After her funeral on Friday, Bringing Hope co-founder, the Rev Robin Thompson, commented: “Pat was very genuine, dedicated to her work. She didn’t try to pretty things up, whether she was talking to the prime minister or a mother in pain. What always came across was that she was a thoroughly loving mum.”
The Rev Carver Anderson added: “Pat left a lot of us mourning but a huge legacy will come from her life. Things are already happening and they will carry on. She was a catalyst for reformation and change. People’s lives were changed through her life and they are changed in her death."
The Black Church leader continued: “She epitomised transformation and we have seen with our eyes that that transforming work in carrying on.”
Meanwhile, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu also paid tribute to Ms Regan: “Pat was motivated by her deep love for her lost son and by a vibrant faith with love at its heart," he said.
Dr Sentamu went on: "Her loss is a tragedy to a community who have been robbed of a passionate voice against violence and to a wider society that is still not doing enough to embrace those values for which Pat campaigned."
“In her efforts to educate and transform the lives of young people at risk from violence Pat has left a legacy that will be lived out in the lives of the people of Leeds and beyond," he concluded.