The founder of a Burntwood-based domestic abuse charity has retired.
Kathy Coe MBE enjoyed a surprise party to celebrate her work on 29th March.
Patrons, friends, colleagues and civic leaders gathered at St John’s Church in the town to pay tribute to the founder and chief executive of Pathway.
Kathy, herself a survivor of domestic abuse, escaped from a violent and abusive husband in the 1980s and finding that there was little help for those in her position, set about putting that right.
“I found the inner activist in me,” she said. “And I brought together a group of people who helped me set up Pathway.”
Since the organisation began in 1991, the team have helped more than 30,000 families. The charity now provides a 24-hour helpline and refuges.
At the retirement party Kathy was invited to join the small group of Honorary Patrons.
Nina Dawes OBE, Chair of the Income Generation Group, said: “This is a fitting tribute to Kathy who has dedicated her life to Pathway and those families that it has served.”
The role at the head of Pathway will now be passed on to Hayley Baxter, who had previously been director of operations.
Kathy added: “I’m thrilled and delighted to have been asked to be amongst those Honorary Patrons who lend their support so publicly to Pathway.
“I’ll do all that I can to help Pathway raise much needed funds so that it continues to help turn victims into survivors into the future.
“I’m delighted that I am passing on the baton to Hayley, who I know loves Pathway as much as I do and will keep Pathway safe for as long as there is a need for the services.
“She has all the skills and creativity to make a wonderful job of taking Pathway forward and she has an amazing team who will support her in the task.”