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April 15th, 2015:

Francisca Valenzuela help needed

Dear colleagues,

You will be sad to hear of the death of Francisca Valenzuela

Francisca came to London, via Madrid, nearly 6 years ago from her native Dominican Republic and started working at UEL from August 2010.

In the last year Francisca had been diagnosed with cancer and was off work whilst undergoing treatment. Unfortunately, Francisca passed away on Saturday 28th March, aged just 57.

Francisca was a hardworking, vivacious and generous woman, who will be sorely missed by her family and many friends at UEL and in her community.

UEL UNISON will remember her, in particular, for her activism and the central role she played in the successful campaign for the London Living Wage at UEL.

Francisca had a strong sense of social justice and a passion for learning. This was best demonstrated by her full (vocal) participation in all of the employment rights training courses and English classes organised by UEL UNISON.

Entertaining, caring and gregarious – Francisca’s loud laughter could be heard from one end of the atrium to the other. She loved talking (and practising her English) and she loved singing. In fact, her singing can be heard across the world on the internet on the Youtube clip “The Cleaners Voice”

UEL UNISON are fundraising to try and support her family at this difficult time. Francisca’s family will be taking her back to her native Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, where her son and most of her relatives live. Unfortunately, the costs of repatriation is approximately £6,000. This is a huge financial burden on the family and so every pound we can raise will assist them in taking Francisca home.

If you wish to help – please donate through the paypal donate link at

All the funds raised will be provided to Francisca’s family to help with her repatriation costs.