Former youth worker, 77

Christine Goddard, a former youth leader in Spen, who has died at the age of 77.
Christine Goddard, a former youth leader in Spen, who has died at the age of 77.

The funeral has taken place of Christine Goddard who inspired a generation of young people through her work.

Christine, who was born in Hightown and spent her married life in Heckmondwike, will be remembered by many people for her tireless and selfless efforts to support the young people of Heckmondwike and Spenborough during her years with the youth service.

She had begun her working life as an insurance clerk, but after she had her children she decided she wanted to work with young people.

Christine was initially a youth worker in the early 1970s where she was a team member of Heckmondwike Open Brighton Street. She then moved on to Spenborough Youth club next to the swimming pool where she was a senior worker.

Some of the happy memories held by yesterday’s teenagers would be of weekly discos, rambling, football teams, sports activities, cooking lessons, arts and crafts, dance troops, residentials and many more entertaining activities.

After retirement from the youth service she remained loyal to her belief in the need for services for young people, ever empathic to the changing needs of teenagers.

Her daughter Alison Thackrah said: “She was always very firm, but fair and wanted to give young people something to do which would keep them occupied and out of trouble. I remember my friends would come up to me and say ‘your mum’s ace!’ But she wouldn’t stand any trouble either.”

Christine was married to Keith and the couple had two daughters, Alison and Gillian and a son, John.

She also leaves six grandchildren and one great-grand-child, and a son-in-law and daughter-in-law.

The funeral service was held last Friday at Dewsbury Moor Crematorium.

A collection at the service for Cancer Research UK raised £300.