Hartlepool hospice pays tribute to volunteer worker Gillian

Staff at Hartlepool’s Alice House Hospice have paid a special tribute to a much-loved volunteer.

By Tom Patterson
Friday, 20th May 2022, 4:45 am

Gillian Holbrook supported the hospice in a variety of roles - initially supporting patients in the holistic wellbeing centre and later as part of the fundraising team, working on events, sales and administration – until her sudden death in November.

Mrs Holbrook had been fundraising for the hospice at its annual Tree or Remembrance stall in the town with her husband Phil, who is also a volunteer worker, earlier in the day on November 26, when she felt unwell while driving home and stopped the car.

As she made her way to the pavement, she collapsed and died at the scene from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

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Gillian Holbrook died unexpectedly last November.

To acknowledge Gillian’s help and support, the hospice’s fundraising office has now been renamed in her memory as the Gillian Holbrook Fundraising Office

A plaque has now been placed outside the room in which Gillian worked.

Mr Holbrook said “Both myself and Gillian’s daughter, Sarah, are very proud to think that Gillian has been recognised in a place that meant so much to her.

“The Gillian Holbrook Fundraising Office will help to remind people of the role that she played there.”

Phil Holbrook with the plaque in memory of his wife Gillian.

Julie Hildreth, fundraising senior manager at Alice House, said “We miss Gillian so much and she was such a big part of our team.

"She gave so much and was always a pleasure to be around, such a lovely and generous person.

"We hope that this tribute goes some way to showing what she meant to us. She will never be forgotten.”

He added: “Alice House would also like to thank Hartlepool College of Further Education, who designed and created Gillian’s plaque, free of charge.

The hospice, in Wells Avenue, Hartlepool, is a registered charity offering specialist palliative care, counselling and support to hundreds of adults from Hartlepool and East Durham each year.

It costs more than £3.5m to fund its services for one year although the hospice receives less than 21% of this in Government funding – leaving a shortfall of just under £8,000 to be raised every day.

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