'˜Wonderful' Sheila spoke up for carers

TRIBUTES have been paid to a social worker who campaigned to amplify the voices of city carers.

Saturday, 5th August 2017, 6:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:56 am
Sheila Jeftha and her husband Gerald

Sheila Jeftha, who spent much of her life in Portsmouth, died aged at her home in South Africa on Sunday, July 23.

Since 1985, Mrs Jeftha – who lived in Lennox Road South in Southsea for several years – had been an active voice for local people with mental health conditions and their carers.

Alongside the efforts of her friends and colleagues, her work led to the creation of the Compass Carers network in 1989 – a local collective dedicated to supporting caregivers at a time when they received little or no official recognition for their roles.

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In the early 1990s, Sheila approached Portsmouth City Council with a desire to introduce the notion of an official carers’ support worker on a local basis.

Her campaign was successful, as the Compass Carers Support Group proceeded to grow, gaining support workers and its own office.

After she retired, Sheila kept in touch with the Compass Carers team and offered her support by upholding her role on its committee.

A few years later she emigrated to South Africa with her husband Gerald – where her funeral will now take place.

Today, the Compass Carers Support Group still meets on the second Thursday of every month at Orchard Road, Southsea.

A friend of Sheila’s, Thelma Turner-Hill, runs the Compass Carers Support Group, and said she was a ‘wonderful woman’.

She said: ‘Without Sheila none of this would have happened.

‘Sheila was dedicated, caring, compassionate, educated and understanding.

‘The group met this week and everyone said what she achieved was fantastic.

‘She never let carers down – we are all so grateful to her.’