ISOBEL Scarborough, one of the hardest-working figures in Keighley’s voluntary sector, has died at the age of 84.

Tributes flooded in this week for the work of the tireless volunteer and campaigner at the forefront of health and social care for several decades.

The former midwife, who chaired a host of voluntary and community groups, died early this month while gardening at her home in Riddlesden.

Isobel’s husband Michael Scarborough this week described his proudly-Scottish wife as a “glass half full” kind of person who had an absolute commitment to helping others.

Isobel Scarborough was born in Aberdeen in 1934 and trained as a midwife in the city before moving to Cambridge to work in its maternity hospital. She met Michael at Cambridge while he was an undergraduate.

Isobel worked at the Royal Free Hospital and St Barts in London and a small hospital in Staffordshire before she and her husband moved to Keighley 1967, where Michael had gained a job at Bingley College of Education.

Isobel worked as a midwife in Bradford before becoming a peripatetic music teacher, teaching classical guitar across northern West and North Yorkshire, while in 1978 Michael joined Yorkshire Television’s education department.

The pair were married for 55 years, and at one time ran the Buckden House Outdoor Activities Centre.

Although Isobel had already taken part in some voluntary work, her involvement with the voluntary sector grew massively after she and Michael both retired in 1992.

Over the years Isobel became involved in many organisations in the fields of health or social well-being, often as chairman, including Keighley Council for Voluntary Services, Keighley Healthy Living, Keighley Furniture Project and Health Watch.

She was instrumental in establishing several the key voluntary and community organisations that currently operate in Keighley.

Michael said: “Isobel had a total commitment to help others. She wasn’t on groups just there to make up numbers, she was there to get involved. There was always a way of winning through.

“It was about pushing the boundaries to get things done. She thought, ‘there are a lot of people out there who need help, how can we get it to them?

“She was passionate about the NHS, wanting to make it work well and defending it as an institution.”

Isobel was a magistrate for eight years and a long-serving school governor, particularly at Eastwood Primary School. She and Michael were long-standing members of the Labour Party. The pair have a son Iain, who lives in Germany, and a grandchild.

Michael added: “Isobel loved wild landscapes and being out in the country. She loved opera and gardening.”

Over the past two or three years Isobel had stepped down as chairman of some of the main organisations, such as a KIVCA – recently merged with its sister organisation in Bradford -- and the Furniture Project.