Kim Shillcock, 51, the 'sunshine' in so many village lives
Tributes have been paid to an "inspirational" youth worker who dedicated her career to helping young people in her village.
Kim Shillcock, of Ibstock, died on Friday, January 25, aged 51.
She had been diagnosed with cancer last year.
She was well-known in her home village for her community work and helped hundreds of youngsters during more than 10 years based at Ibstock Youth centre, in Central Avenue.
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Kim had also worked as a lunchtime supervisor and cleaner at Ibstock Community College since 2002 and was closely involved with various village play groups, including Busy Bees.
Chris Bates, who worked alongside her at the youth centre, said: "Kim was an inspiration and probably one of the best youth workers around.
"She was always so nice, so helpful – she was like a second mum to some of the young people.
"Never judgemental about anything, she was always happy to listen. She was someone you could bounce ideas off and some of the 17 and 18-year-olds she met at the youth club had known her since they were four.
"Kim was very passionate about helping young people. It was her life. We are all going to miss her enormously."
Kim, who had a special interest in young carers, regularly spent time in the youth centre.
Staff and students at the college, where a special assembly has been held and a book of condolence opened in her memory, described her as a "great friend and workmate" who would be sadly missed.
Head teacher David King said: "Kim was a wonderful colleague, loved and respected by students and staff alike."
Student Chloe Lycett, 14, said: "She was a unique person and was always there for me.
"She helped me when I was in trouble. We had so many good memories together and she will be truly missed.
"We will always love her and I will never forget her."
Laura North, 13, said: "Kim was funny and cared for all the students. She was so nice.
"It was a gift to everyone to have her at our school and she will always be missed. Heaven has gained an angel."
Kim was a wife to Paul and mother to Andrew, Kathy and Amy.
"Kim was beautiful and precious to me," said Paul. "She was more than a wife – she completed me. Pure sunshine."
Kathy, Amy and Andrew, in a joint tribute to their mother, said: "We are so proud to be her children.
"She wasn't just our mum, she was our best friend. We are going to miss her so much."
Kim's funeral will be an intimate service for close friends and family at Hugglescote Church on Tuesday.
Donations in lieu of flowers will go to Ibstock Youth Centre, Macmillan Nurses and Loros.