Community hero’s son pays moving tribute to mother


Ellen Zammit, 83, devoted over 60 years to improving the lives of children, the elderly and the homeless.


By Cyrus Engineer

A grandmother who dedicated her life to helping the disadvantaged of South West London has passed away.

Ellen Zammit, 83, of Manchester Drive, was buried last Friday at Our Lady of All’s Souls Church on Bosworth Road, North Kensington.

Mrs Zammit devoted over 60 years to improving the lives of children, the elderly and the homeless. She was awarded the RBKC Mayor’s Award in 2008 in recognition of her services.

As her son, Laurence Zammit, put it: “She was everyone else’s mum.”

Mrs Zammit’s work for the community was endless and whether it was organising bingo for the elderly or holidays for underprivileged children, her desire to help people was evident for all to see.

She ran the Pennies and Pence charity shop in Thorpe Close for over twenty years as well as being key in the creation of Community Transport Minibuses for the underprivileged.

Andrew Kelly, Director of Westway Community Transport, one of many organisations that Mrs Zammit aided, described her as: “A real community worker.

“She was someone who everyone valued and respected.”

The construction of the Westway motorway in 1970 was the catalyst for Mrs Zammit’s drive to improve the lives of children in the area.

The Westway caused devastation in many communities and Mrs Zammit made it her life work to try and improve the lives of those affected.

She would often take groups of school children on holidays that they could otherwise not afford.

Children were taken on vacations to the countryside, with Mrs Zammit using a network of friends to provide holiday homes in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire among others.

Mrs Zammit would regularly host activities at her home, having children round for art classes and providing a safe child minding service.

Nothing deterred her, as her son said: “She was like a steamroller. Once she had her mind set on something that was it.

“It was all from the heart. She was never one for publicity.

“Often she would start things up and then stand back. As long as her name was on the bottom that was good enough for her.”

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