Community Champion and Former Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hounslow, Maria Pedro sadly passes away
By Taz Virdee
Maria Pedro, DL (right) with Sharnjeet Bhalla and Yasmin Lukka at our Big Local Commonwealth Event in May 2018.
It is with great sadness to announce our dear friend and community champion Maria Pedro passed away on Sunday 4th November 2018 after a short battle with cancer. Maria Pedro, was appointed as the Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in 2011 and in 2012 the representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hounslow (The Queen’s Representative),
Prior to her work as Deputy Lieutenant, Maria had previously worked as a PR and media specialist working within the voluntary and private sectors, most notably with the NSPCC and the FULL STOP campaigns.
Maria was also involved with supporting many other charities and organisations such as: The RSPCA, The Scout’s Association, The Ramblers, Combat Stress, Army Cadets and many others. Maria also supported homeless young people, often sharing her own personal experience of growing up in care to inspire and help young people achieve their dreams whatever the circumstances.
Maria Pedro, DL with the Big Local Youth Film Club (left) and being interviewed by Serena Lola and Anjali Parmar (right)
In April 2017, Maria got involved with the Big Local and soon after delivered an inspiring and educational presentation on the Queen’s 90th Birthday at the Brabazon Community Centre to local residents, which was well received.
Maria said after the event: “I was honoured to attend the Birthday Tea and appreciated the warm reception of my short talk about The Queen and the Greater London Lieutenancy. But none of this would have been possible without the drive and energy of incomparable Taz Virdee. Happy Birthday Your Majesty.”
In addition, Maria was interviewed by our Big Local Youth Action and Film Club members Serena Lola and Anjali Parmar (above) about her role and future ambitions. In May 2018, Maria supported and helped organise our Big Local Commonwealth Community Event held at Cranford Community College. Around 350 local residents attended the function to celebrate.
Maria said after the event: “I was honoured to be part of such a memorable occasion in which everyone felt valued and welcomed. The volunteers and residents I met provide impressive examples of how they can make a difference to their community. Their energy and commitment clearly brings a new focus to the lives of the residents of Heston West.”
Maria Pedro, DL (centre) at the Queen's 90th Birthday Tea Party in April 2017 at Brabazon Community Centre
Alan Fraser, Chair of HWBL said: "Maria will be a great loss not only to Heston West Big Local but to the whole of the Hounslow community. She carried out her role with great dignity and passion.
She loved our events and we loved her."
Committee and Youth Action Team Member, Layba Nisar added: "When someone you love becomes a memory it becomes treasure, Maria's support was such a blessing to have, we thank her so much for all the help she gave and her enthusiasm."
On behalf of everyone at Heston West Big Local, we send our sincere condolences.
Maria Pedro was a true inspiration, a champion and will be greatly missed by all. Her passion, energy and drive to make a real difference to our community will never be forgotten. Her legacy shall live on in all the people she helped and supported over the years.
Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to Maria’s family and friends during this most difficult time. Thank you Maria for your fantastic support you’ve given us over the past few years. Maria's kindness and friendship shall be remembered. We will miss you.
Maria’s funeral will take place in the chapel at Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth on Tuesday 20th November at 11am. The address is 60 Grove End Road, London NW8 9NH. Anyone who knew her is warmly welcome to attend, there will be food and drinks throughout the day at the Warrington Hotel, at the junction of Randolph Ave and Sutherland Ave (on the street where she lived). Those who wish to go to the crematorium after the funeral are most welcome.
Those who go straight to the pub afterwards are kindly asked to wait for us.
No hats and no flowers please. Maria’s charity is STOLL www.stoll.org.uk.