Tributes have been paid for an esteemed community worker who was ‘instrumental’ in providing care for victims of domestic violence.

Pearl Collins, a domestic violence advisor at Barrow-based Women’s Community Matters, has died following a battle with a long-term illness.

Rebecca Rawlings, senior officer at the charity, based at the Nan Tait Centre, expressed her sadness at Mrs Collins’ passing.

She said: “I personally have known Pearl for an awful lot of years. She’s worked for the organisation since 2016 and brought a wealth of knowledge to the role.

“She made such a difference to the team. We even named one of our rooms ‘The Pearl Collins Room’ after moving to our new building because of how inspirational she was.

“You could hear the change in people’s voices after speaking to her. She brought such a light into the room.”

Mrs Collins also played a leading role in the development of emergency housing for domestic violence housing in Barrow.

Mrs Rawlings said: “She was an instrumental part in bringing this project to life, she decorated the houses and had a real input in the project. She was a major part in the development of the organisation.

“I hope that all the things she set out we can continue doing.”

Mrs Rawlings also took to social media to express her sadness at Pearl’s passing, writing: “Pearl was a wonderful colleague and friend to all the staff at Women’s Community Matters and we miss her a great deal.

“Pearl’s knowledge knew no bounds and I cannot remember the number of times she amazed me over the years with what she knew and how much she cared for all those around her.

“Pearl has worked many places over her extensive career and we know how lucky we are to have had her work alongside us for some of that time. Pearl shaped the service we are now able to offer victims and survivors of domestic abuse.”

Mrs Collins' funeral will be on Monday. The centre will be closed that day in her memory.