Devastated Forest Hill residents mourning a beloved homeless woman who died suddenly have raised a staggering £6,000 to pay for her funeral.

Stefania Bada was just 41 when she died after being taken to hospital with an infection last Wednesday.

Since her death, the underpass at Forest Hill Station where she lived has been adorned with flowers, cards and candles.

News Shopper:

The underpass at Forest Hill Station has been adorned with flowers and messages

Clare Phipps and her partner Matt Hawkins set up a GoFundMe page after her death to raise funds for a memorial service and cremation, which will be led by rev. Edd Stock.

Clare told News Shopper: “The news that [Stefania] had died was very shocking. I didn’t want to believe it at first and I called up the hospital to ask if it was true when I first heard it.

“We moved to Forest Hill in 2013 and she had been living here for as long as I can remember. I talked to her a lot.”

Stefania, originally from Italy, leaves behind two adult children, her mother and an uncle. After she died, Edd scoured Facebook and the “Italian Yellow Pages” to make contact with her family, who will be flying over for the funeral.

Speaking to News Shopper, the Reverend said: “Stefania gave us far more than we ever gave her. She taught us what it was to be human; what it means to love; what it means to be compassionate; what it means to care for others.

“Even though she went through great struggles herself she showed this great humanity that I think we’re going to lose by her death.

“She never asked for help and she always willingly gave it.”

READ MORE: Death on the streets: Tributes left to rough sleeper found dead in Bromley

One reason Clare and Matt set up the GoFundMe page was to bring together people who wanted to mourn Stefania.

News Shopper:

Stefania was described as "full of goodwill." Photo taken by Martin Masai Andersen and Lowly

“A lot of people wanted to do something to show that they care. There was a desire to show that this person mattered to us.

“Stefania was so kind. She would remember little things about you and ask after other people and she was full of goodwill,” Clare recalled.

In less than a week, hundreds of people have donated to the crowdfunder and left flowers at the underpass where Stefania lived.

The words “RIP Angel. You were the best. Miss you bella” have been sprayed onto the wall of the underpass.

One mourner wrote: “What a beautiful human being Stefania was. Her smile lights up whenever she speaks to each of us who walks past.”

Recalling how much his children loved Stefania, Edd said: “We’d make sure our school run went by her so she could high-five them.”

Clare added that one of the donations in the crowdfunder had been given by children who had pooled their pocket money together.

“She was great with kids,” she said, through tears.

Stefania’s memorial service will be led by Edd on Saturday, July 20 from 10am at Sydenham School.

Clare hopes any extra money from the crowdfunder will be used in some way to help those who find themselves struggling like Stefania did.

“The reality is, this shouldn’t have happened. There is obviously something going wrong when someone accessing public services has been let down.”