A tribute to Hazel

A STALWART fundraiser – who died earlier this year aged 79 – was today praised for her tireless support for the hospice.

Tributes were today paid to Hazel Overfield, who first became involved with the movement more than 30 years ago.

Hospice chiefs today described her as “a great example of the kind of volunteer who has helped make the hospice what it is today.”

Hazel and her sister Edna were among the staunchest supporters of the hospice after its formation in 1980 by Alice Bendle to provide specialist palliative care to the communities of Hartlepool and east Durham.

Hazel was formerly employed at the Salt Works in Greatham for 42 years. After her retirement, she decided that her love of rambling and fell walking was not going to be enough to keep her busy, and she became involved with Hartlepool & District Hospice from its infancy in 1980.

She started by picking up hospice collection boxes from Hartlepool and the outlying villages. Shortly, after she was joined by her sister Edna and soon became an invaluable part of the hospice’s fundraising team.

Hazel was also a member of the Elwick Women’s Institute and also took up floral art and gained a City and Guilds Certificate. Her busy life also included becoming a college teacher.

Hazel’s husband Les, 81, said, “Hazel got an enormous amount of pleasure from volunteering at the hospice.”

On receiving an award for Long Service in 2008, Hazelsaid at the time: “I am very proud to receive this award, it means so much to me.”

“It’s lovely to see how far the hospice has come over the years, and good to know that I have done my little bit to help it along the way.”

Sandra Britten, Director of Information Governance at the Hospice, said: “Hazel will be greatly missed by all her friends and colleagues at the hospice but leaves behind a legacy of caring for others.”