TRIBUTES have been paid to a dedicated Wearside community worker after her sudden death from a suspected brain aneurysm.
Freda Din, manager at the Sunderland Bangladeshi Community Centre, devoted more than 13 years to helping black, minority and ethnic groups in the city, supporting a range of education, health and charity projects.
Her death at the age of 44 shocked family, friends and colleagues, who gathered for an emotional memorial service earlier this week to celebrate her life and work.
Abu Shama, a senior development officer at the venue in Thatham Street, said: “It was a big shock to all of us. Her death was so sudden. She is going to be missed by a lot of people.
“She was well-known in the area and a very popular figure in the community.”
Ms Din, from Thornaby, Teesside, started working with the local Bangladeshi community in 1998.
“She was inspirational in working with the community and its partners to get funding together to build the Sunderland Bangladeshi Community Centre,” said Mr Shama. “For the last few years, she was employed as the centre manager, doing work in the centre and helping to deliver services to a wide range of black, minority and ethnic communities.
“She has been heavily involved with the work of the centre and many other issues in the city.
“She has been an inspiration and a great role model.”
Mr Shama said Ms Din, who died on January 9, with her funeral held on Teesside two days later, was a “devoted and tireless” figure.
“She was a really, really bubbly and friendly person,” he said. “She always understood the needs of the community.
“She was always trying to make things better for black, minority and ethnic communities, bringing people together and driving our projects forward.
“She made such a difference during her time here.
“She was an amazing individual.”