Surrey Adult Learning was saddened by the news of Suki Lowres' passing on Wednesday 4 July. Suki had been a committed and highly regarded volunteer for Surrey Adult Learning and we wanted to use this platform to celebrate Suki's commitment, kindness and individuality.
Suki made a great impact on those she came to know whilst volunteering for Surrey Adult Learning, establishing herself as an asset to the community.
Earlier this year, we were fortunate enough to have been able to celebrate Suki's contribution to our service and see her be recognised for the huge amount of time she has given over the past 10 years volunteering to help adults with learning disabilities at Surrey Adult Learning and other Guildford based community projects.
Councillor Mark Brett-Warburton supported our nomination for the Surrey County Council Chairman's Award in recognition of the time Suki committed to improving the lives of Surrey residents; we were delighted when we heard that Suki had been selected for the Award this year.
Suki attended the Chairman's Volunteer Reception at County Hall in Kingston on 28 March 2018 along with her three chosen guests where she was presented with her certificate and commemorative coin by the Chairman, Peter Martin.
Suki gave a great deal of her time to support adults with learning disabilities attending Surrey Adult Learning courses at our Guildford Centre in both group and 1:1 situations, as well as volunteering with other community projects. Among her many activities, Suki was a dedicated ambassador for the Fountain Centre, a charity for cancer patients, their families and carers located in the St Luke's Cancer Centre at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. Suki was an active Member on the committee of the Harvey Gallery and is a judge for Guildford in Bloom, enthusiastically giving hours of her time in the summer, visiting local schools and nurseries.
With SAL Suki volunteered in various courses including Art (where she enabled two Learners in particular to achieve and exhibit their work) and Cookery (where she supported Learners to live more independently). Suki provided vital support for Learners with additional needs, enabling them to participate, enriching their learning experience. Suki was reliable and supportive, helping out where needed.
Tutors who were fortunate to have worked with Suki are in total agreement that classes with her were inspirational, uplifting and fun. As part of their nomination, one Tutor said "Every week is a surprise with Suki; for example, one of the Learners said the food Suki was eating would make her hair grow; after that chance remark she came to the class the following week wearing a wig! The Learners adore Suki and our classes would not be the same without her. Suki has an exceptional ability to get to know each Learner, remembering their likes and dislikes. She talks to them sensitively and listens to what they have to say, remembering what they have told her from week to week. Suki is always cheerful even when she doesn't feel it. She is a dedicated and enthusiastic person who is passionate about the welfare of those attending classes."
As part of his nomination for the Chairman's Award, Centre Coordinator, Matt Sturt, said of Suki "it is an immeasurable honour to know Suki. She is entirely respectful of others and their differences and treats everyone as an individual. Suki is a keen advocate for adult education, with a specific interest in Supported Learning. Suki goes above and beyond the usual remits of a volunteer, to deliver unbeatable service those she works with. Suki totally immerses herself in her role as a volunteer, for each committee and organisation she works for and provides exemplary service."
Suki was pleased to receive the recognition of her work and found great accomplishment in helping others, committing herself fully to her role as volunteer.
Suki passed away on Wednesday 4 July 2018, having faced her diagnosis with great courage and unique strength. We consider it an honour to have been able to celebrate Suki's valuable service and to see her phenomenal commitment to those she came into contact with recognised.
Suki bought encouragement, positivity and a kind sense of humour, to each of her classes, committing herself entirely to benefitting others. Suki's individuality and good nature saw her establish herself as a highly regarded member of the Surrey Adult Learning team, where she developed long standing friendships.
Suki's inspirational, creative and incredibly kind, selfless character will be remembered by her friends, colleagues and family members. Suki leaves behind a legacy of finding the good in each day and helping others.
We at Surrey Adult Learning, a community in which Suki helped to nurture, extend our condolences to those fortunate enough to have met, be supported by or develop lasting friendships with Suki.