Tributes have been paid after the death of a much-loved community stalwart from Kilwinning.

Theresa Potter spent over 20 years working in Pennyburn bringing about the success of The Playz centre and campaigning on behalf of residents.

After the sad news was announced this week, friends, residents and groups have paid tribute to Theresa Potter and her work for the community.

A statement from PRYDE The Playz said: "At this most difficult time I’m sure the community are remembering Theresa for some of the amazing work she did in our community.

"Theresa has always been held in high regard by Pennyburn and especially our young people. Thirteen years of capacity building for young and not so young alike, giving everyone the confidence and tools to buy, own, and manage The Playz. Become employers and to succeed against all odds.

"Theresa's skills drive and expertise is not only a loss to Pennyburn but to the communities she worked with all over North Ayrshire and further afield. Our thoughts and prayers are today and always with Dougie, Craig and all their family and friends.

"We can’t finish without testimony to Theresa's crazy antics, to break the ice or get that party started, her screams and laugh are legendary in Pennyburn.

Council leader and Kilwinning Cllr Joe Cullinane said: "Theresa spent over 20 years working with residents in Pennyburn, where I have spent most of my life, empowering them to buy, own and manage the Playz. The success of that project, and the community-led change that it brought about, would not have been possible without true community leaders like Theresa Potter

"Her time at the Council was short but her impact massive. Her work with Kilwinning Academy and the cluster schools, particularly with parents, was outstanding and the Academy have been one of the many mourners who have paid tribute to her impact.

"Since March Theresa showed us all what a life commitment to helping others looks like. Theresa was fundamental to the quick establishment and rollout of North Ayrshire’s Community Hubs as Covid-19 hit and has been a constant presence at the hub in the Garnock Valley ever since.

"Theresa has been taken from her family, friends and colleagues far too early, her legacy remains in the many lives she touched. A true community champion, a strong working-class woman, an inspirational leader, a wife, a mother, a gran, a friend, a legend. Thank you, Theresa."

A statement from Kilwinning Community Sports Club said: "We are saddened to hear the very sad news that our friend and colleague Theresa Potter had passed away.

"Theresa, husband, Dougie and close friend Carol McHarg were instrumental in laying the groundwork for what is now a local institution. Without her influence guidance and support in those early years there is no doubt the club would not be the successful organisation it is today. Theresa we will miss you."