TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman who helped thousands of homeless and teenagers at risk by setting up the charity Nightsafe.
Paula Kanuik, 64, described as an “inspirational and determined woman” died peacefully on Sunday after a short illness.
Mrs Kanuik was employed by children’s services in Blackburn to research the need for assistance for young homeless people.
As a result, Nightsafe was set up in 1990 and she was manager and then chief executive of the charity for 22 years, until she retired.
The charity, based on the Boulevard in Blackburn, provides accommodation for teenagers with all kinds of issues and also offers several other services to try and get their lives on track.
Nightsafe chair of trustees Julie Wareing, said: “Nightsafe owes it’s existence and success to Paula who was the driving force of the organisation for over 20 years until her retirement in 2012.
“Paula was a wonderful caring woman, passionate about Nightsafe and the young people it serves, she has touched the lives of so many people young and old and will be remembered with gratitude and love not just in Blackburn but across the world.
“She will be sorely missed but the board and staff of Nightsafe will ensure that her memory lives on and her passion and commitment is maintained.”
Mrs Kanuik, a mother of two, is survived by husband Pete Gascoigne. They lived in Rochdale but had previously resided in Accrington for many years.
Outside work she was a passionate fan of world music and would attend the WOMAD Festival on an annual basis.