Tributes to Age UK charity fundraiser Jean O'Hern from Darlington (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Tributes to Age UK charity fundraiser Jean O'Hern from Darlington
TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-serving volunteer who helped raise thousands of pounds for a North-East charity and has died following a short illness.
Jean O’Hern was a key volunteer at Age UK, in Darlington, having been associated with the organisation since November 1999.
The 79-year-old great grandmother died on September 17, in St Teresa’s Hospice, in the town.
Gillian Peel, chief executive of Age UK Darlington, said: “I started here over four years ago and Jean was instrumental in making me feel so very welcome.
“She was a volunteer who believed passionately in everything we were doing and gave her time so freely to help us to help others.
“Whenever we needed extra help, Jean was there - in either the café, reception or most particularly in fundraising.
“Jean organised the volunteers in a variety of fundraising opportunities – including abseiling, 1940s nights, Lottery Bonus Ball and was particularly proud recently when her small sales cabinet of donated small items in the café achieved the total of £1,000 in six months.
“Every year she would take a lead on the street collection, raising more than £7,000 in total over the 13 years she was with us.
“Jean was tireless in her efforts to improve our building in Beaumont Street West and was instrumental in raising another £6,000 over the last four years which included the cost of carpeting, flooring, redecoration, new chairs and quite recently the music system for our Café Refresh.”
Mrs O’Hern, who was married to the late David, leaves two sons, Stephen and Terance, as well as granddaughter Abigail and great grandson Nathaniel.
Ms Peel said: “Jean’s passion for the organisation and outspoken views will mean that she is sorely missed. Young and old volunteers and customers have enjoyed the benefits of her wealth of experience.”
Deputy chief officer Susan Carter said: “In many ways, Jean is irreplaceable.
“Not only was she an excellent organiser who supported our fundraising and other ventures, but she also organised trips out and social events.
“Nobody remembers Jean without a smile on their face. She will be missed by us all.”
Her funeral took place on Wednesday (September 25) afternoon, at Darlington Crematorium.
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