A tribute to our patron Ruth Rendell CBE, who died recently

We are very saddened by the loss of our patron, the writer Ruth Rendell, who died on Saturday 2 May at the age of 85.

Ruth Rendell supported Freedom from Torture from 1999 and was a passionate advocate of our work. A distinguished author of thrillers and psychological crime fiction, she was also an active member of the House of Lords (she took the title of Baroness Rendell of Babergh in recognition of her links with Suffolk) where she spoke out on many human rights issues.

She was very generous with her financial gifts towards our work and also supported fundraising and awareness raising by hosting, appearing at and supporting events. As recently as November 2014, she travelled to Bury St Edmunds to appear as guest speaker at an evening of plays in Theatre Royal organised by our Suffolk supporters' group, and also gave an interview to BBC Radio Suffolk.

When Ruth Rendell first became a patron of Freedom from Torture she said that she supported our work "because I hate the idea of torture so much...it makes me angrier than any indifferent cruelty or callousness ever could, and to dwell on it makes me physically sick... Sadly, most days there's an account in the papers of someone's suffering at the hands of a torturer. Don't turn away but read it and let disgust and outrage spur you on to make a donation."

Freedom from Torture was very fortunate to have had such a patron standing behind our vital work for so many years. We will miss her.