Remembering Lynette Patterson, the nurse who ‘touched many lives with her compassion’
A memorial dinner was held to honour a South London nurse who dedicated her professional life to promoting the cause of children, the disabled and the mentally ill.
The dinner was held at the House of Lords, to celebrate the life of Lynette Patterson, who died in March.
It also coincided with the pre-launch of the Lynette Patterson Foundation (LYP Foundation) which will focus on supporting mental healthcare and education among young and ethnic minorities, and help
further their aspirations.
Her connection with South London included her association with St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham.
She attended the hospice’s activities and helped to forge professional relationships between the hospice under Dr Cicely Saunders and the equivalent in her native Guyana, known as the Beacon.
The memorial dinner last month was organised by her son Drew, with many attending, including her family, people from the local community and those who knew her professionally.
Her son Drew said: “This is a testimony to the many people Lynette had touched with her vast energy and compassion over the years.
“Lynette was a campaigner – passionate about trying to improve services for children with autism and other neuro-developmental disorders.
“She knew these children are a group who are particularly misunderstood.
“They are often misinterpreted as awkward, naughty or difficult children because their behaviour is different from typically developing children.
“These are children who have trouble making friends. They don’t get invited to parties in primary school, and feel like outsiders in secondary school.
“They can be seen as disruptive or uncooperative in the classroom. Their families struggle to attend social occasions because they are afraid of how their children will be judged.
“Whilst social care and NHS services exist for the children with the severest mental health problems, there are many who suffer because they do not meet the required threshold to receive help.
“As a fitting tribute we have set up the LYP Foundation to try to meet some of the vast needs of children and families in London who have autism and mental health problems.”
The keynote speaker on the night, Dr Jacqueline Phillips Owen, who works with the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London,
confirmed the desperate need to improve mental health services for children and particularly those with autism.