Urmilaben Patel emigrated to Britain from Kenya with her family in 1970, settling in Northwest London.
She originally worked in her family’s newsagent business, before later working for various pharmaceutical companies.
Thereafter, she went to work at Grunwick’s, the film processing company, and became involved in a protracted two and a half year strike there, which attracted national coverage as one of the most important labour disputes of the era.
Urmilaben and her fellow workers were not given their jobs back when the dispute ended and, therefore, had to find alternative employment.
As she began to suffer chronic health problems, Urmilaben secured employment with Remploy, which specialised in providing work for people with disabilities.
Urmilaben enjoyed a long and happy period with Remploy before her worsening health problems eventually necessitated her retirement on medical grounds at the age of 55.