Tribute is paid to a jobs champion

Pamela Aird
Pamela Aird

A LOVING son has paid tribute to his “inspirational” mum who helped thousands of town residents into work.

Pamela Aird has lost her brave battle against multiple sclerosis, aged 53.

She spent nearly 20 years working in Hartlepool’s Job Centre, during which time she set up the town’s largest ever job club.

Pamela was deputy manager for a number of years and helped thousands of people in the town to find employment.

But she was forced to retire early after being diagnosed with MS at just 40 years old in 1999.

She faced the condition head on and for seven years was able to carry on with her life with as much normality as possible.

But in 2006 her condition deteriorated at a rate which even shocked baffled doctors who had previously kept the stable form of MS under control.

She spent the last seven years of her life bed-ridden and passed away on Sunday night.

Her son, Andy Bell, 23, paid a touching tribute to his brave and caring mum.

“She was really humorous and she cared about a lot of people,” said Andy, who lives in the Fens area of Hartlepool.

“My mum was loving, she had no airs or graces and her job meant so much to her.”

Andy didn’t once hear his mum complain despite the devastating diagnosis which turned her life upside down.

“I have no doubt that when she had moments alone she had tears,” said Andy.

“But never once did I hear her moan about it, she just got on with it.

“On Monday I was in the Job Centre and a guy came up to me who I had never met before and told me my mum had given him his first job many years ago.

“He told me if it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t be where he was today.

“My mum loved her job and she cared a lot for the people in the town.”

Pamela was diagnosed with MS after visiting the doctors for a check-up after suffering with a lot of headaches.

She was referred to a specialist and within weeks she was diagnosed with MS.

“I expected her to be around for a lot longer and so did the doctors,” added Andy.

“She spent her life putting herself out for others. Even on Sunday when she was in hospital she was asking me if I was going to be okay.

“I told her not to worry and that I was going to be fine. Within moments she passed away.”

Pamela’s funeral will be held at Stranton Crematorium on Monday at 11.40am.

People will then gather at Hartlepool Catholic Club, in Marlowe Road. Andy says everybody is welcome at both.