A Funeral Director based in Dalston, near Carlisle was chosen as Cumbria Woman of the Year 2022. Judges heard how this incredible, unselfish woman makes a difference to so many people’s lives in both her professional and personal life.
At the height of the pandemic when the number of people dying from Covid-19 started to rise she took to social media to beg people to ‘stay at home’ and ‘follow the covid rules’ because she, along with fellow funeral directors, were being overwhelmed with the demand on their service. Her long emotional message went viral. Though it was distressing to see a normally bubbly, chatty, positive lady so upset as she pleaded with people to change their ways – it had impact. It showed just how coronavirus was affecting even the strongest of people like Jill.
Jill set up a ‘social group’ for people needing help with grief, created a ‘memory tree’ at Christmas to remember lost ones. She collected eggs at Easter and selection boxes at Christmas so that no child goes without and helped to raise support and sponsorship as a Patron of the Carlisle Youth Zone.
On a day to day basis she meets and helps people at one of the most vulnerable and distressing times of their lives and during the pandemic she brought calmness and kindness to so many families in the area.
Her nominators used phrases such as: remarkable, a pillar of strength, compassionate, warm hearted, unselfish and dedicated – traits we look for in choosing our Cumbria Woman of the Year.