A CHARITY has launched an investigation into the death of a woman at one of its York hostels, amidst claims that her life could have been saved.

Changing Lives said it was working with police and conducting its own ‘serious and untoward review’ after the woman died suddenly at Robinson Court in Walmgate last month.

The manager of a charity shop where the woman worked as a volunteer has revealed that she sent her a series of text messages on the previous afternoon, which she believed clearly indicated the woman intended to take her life.

Angie Stott, who runs It’s Donated in The Groves, alleged she repeatedly called staff at Robinson Court to ‘beg’ them to intervene to help the woman, but claimed they told her they had already spoken to her and she was all right.

Angie said messages she received from the woman included: “Babe you didn’t have to. It’s too late…I’m sorry ur a good friend but my life is too unbearable to live with.”

She said she became increasingly alarmed and frightened, convinced she had ‘taken something’, and she tried to reassure and support her while calling the hostel again, but she claimed she was eventually asked to stop ringing it.

She said the woman had been through some tough times but was a ‘lovely’ person, with whom she had become a close friend, and she was shocked and devastated by her death. “She made the Christmas window display for the shop,” she said. “She used to come in regularly and everyone loved her.”

Gordon Campbell-Thomas, founder of the John Lilly Foundation, which is supported by the shop, said a full review of the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death was needed in the hope of preventing further such tragedies. “I want something positive to come out of the negative,” he added.

A spokesman for Changing Lives said it was saddened to hear of the death of the woman, who had been at Robinson Court for two months and was well liked. He said: “She was generous and kind and had a bright, bubbly personality which helped her develop friendships with other residents quite quickly.

“We are working with police and have launched our own Serious and Untoward Incident (SUI) review so can’t comment in any detail, although we can confirm that welfare checks were carried out on (the woman) in the hours before her death.”

He added that Changing Lives, which specialised in homelessness, addictions and women’s services, had been commissioned by City of York Council to provide supported accommodation for homeless women.

North Yorkshire Police said the force was contacted at 4.10pm on Monday, November 19, to a report of a sudden death at a property in Walmgate, York. “Ambulance and police attended,” said a spokeswoman. “However, sadly a 47-year-old woman was found dead at the scene. Police are not treating her death as suspicious and a file has been passed to the coroner.”

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