Tributes have been paid to a “kind-hearted and loving” former Southwark mayoress who sadly died of cancer aged just 40.
Cleo Arens held the mayoress post at Southwark Council between 2006/7, and is remembered by her colleagues for bringing “a sense of youth and glamour” to the role.
Ms Arens was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a type of blood cancer, five years ago, and had been receiving treatment near her home in Northampton. She sadly passed away last week.
Paul Kyriacou, who was the mayor alongside Cleo, paid tribute to Ms Arens as a bubbly personality who would always do things for other people out of the goodness of her heart.
“Everyone knew her, she was such a big personality and so popular,” said the former Southwark mayor.
“She would always do things just out of the kindness of her heart.
“Cleo worked hard with me to fundraise and promote volunteer causes. She had lots of fun and enjoyed being mayoress, getting stuck into the role.
“Cleo was kind, fun loving and had a bubbly personality and touched the lives of many.
“Sadly over the last five years, she had been battling Acute Myeloid Leukaemia but fought bravely to the end, sadly passing away at the age of just 40.”
In the role, she was instrumental in helping to set up the Southwark Stars awards, which recognise the borough’s most inspirational community groups and volunteers.
Following her stint in the ceremonial position, Cleo lived and worked abroad in Beijing and Australia, and had worked as a PA.
Outside of work, she loved to read and socialise with friends, said Mr Kyriacou. “Cleo moved up to Northampton in recent years and will be sorely missed by many,” he said.