'Loving and much loved' - Hartlepool fundraiser's tribute to wife following her sudden death

A Hartlepool charity that has raised more than £50,000 has changed its name following the sudden death of its founder’s much-loved wife.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:12 pm

Gillian Holbrook, 60, who was a volunteer with Alice House Hospice, tragically died unexpectedly on November 26.

She was also a stanch supporter of husband Phil Holbrook’s charity #TeamSally, which he started after the tragic death of his first wife in a car accident just before Christmas nine years ago.

In a tribute to Gillian, who Phil married in 2017, he has renamed the charity #TeamHolbrook.

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Gillian Holbrook.

He and supporters will continue to raise money in both of their memories from sponsored runs and other events.

Keen runner Phil, 61, said: “With the recent passing of my loving and much loved wife, Gillian, it seems natural and correct to rename #TeamSally, in order to honour, recognise and commemorate the lives of two fantastic, treasured and very special women who have enriched my life."

He started TeamSally in 2014 after recovering from life-threatening injuries which he suffered in the car crash near Greatham in 2012.

The charity enters a team in the Great North Run every year and had raised more than £50,000 by September 2021.

Phil and Gillian together during a parkrun on Hartlepool promenade.

Phil credited Gillian as the driving force behind many of his recent ideas and events.

He added: “She was front and centre and had a great organising mind.

"Gillian was always very determined to get things done.”

Alice House Hospice placed a tribute picture of her on their Trees of Remembrance stalls following her sad death.

Phil's first wife Sally who tragically died in a car crash just before Christmas in 2012.

They said: “Gillian did so much for other people and played a huge role here at Alice House, where she was a friend to everyone.”

Gillian leaves behind a daughter, Sarah, who is 32.

She also sat on Hartlepool Borough Council’s audit and governance committee as an independent person.

"She was always one to stand up for things she believed in,” added Phil, of the Fens.

On Thursday, December 23, he will hold the charity’s annual 5k run and walk around the Headland on the anniversary of the car crash.

Phil is due to be joined by a number of supporters including his friend Wayne Platt coming from Lancashire.

People can give to the charity online at #TeamHolbrook on justgiving.com

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