TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman described as "the voice of the mentally ill in Bury" after her death at the age of 92.

Lily Reid advocated for residents suffering from severe and enduring mental illness in a voluntary capacity almost her entire working life, spurred on by her personal experiences.

Mrs Reid, who was awarded an MBE for her services to the community in 2007, officially retired 12 years ago but continued to volunteer every Friday morning with Musical Memories, a social support group for those living with dementia.

She died at Bank House Care Home in Brandlesholme on Saturday after suffering a brain tumour.

Paying tribute to her friend of more than 25 years, Cllr Yvonne Wright, said: "Lily was a wonderful lady and was very highly regarded by many.

"She dedicated her life to speak up for the mentally ill, which was unheard of in the 80s and 90s.

"She was a truly inspirational lady full of character and will be deeply missed by many."

Mrs Reid was handed the freedom of the borough two years ago and previously received the honour of being the very first Bury Women of the Year in 1998 for her selfless work.

She was also the founder member and honorary president of Bury Crossroads Caring for Carers.

Mrs Reid was born in Paradise Street, Bury, as one of seven children.

Her mother died when she was was eight years old, and she became "mother to some of her younger siblings."

Mrs Reid has previously said it is her work that has brought her most fulfilment in life because she was able to help others.

Her funeral will be held at East Lancashire Crematorium in Radcliffe on Thursday, June 20 at 10.30am.