‘Remarkable’ Pam is praised by son

Pam Marshall ''''Picture: Sarah Standing (133193-9147)
Pam Marshall ''''Picture: Sarah Standing (133193-9147)

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The News’ Woman of the Year Awards was a night full of laughter and tears.

But one of the most emotional points came when Adam Westbrook’s nomination for his mum Pam Marshall was read out.

He nominated her in the community/ charity/voluntary category for setting up the charity Hannah’s Holiday Home.

Hannah was Adam’s older sister and he watched as Pam, 44, from Horndean, kept the family together following Hannah’s diagnosis with lymphoma.

While Hannah was battling the form of cancer, her family’s heartbreak was compounded when their father Brian was killed after being electrocuted at work.

Instead of falling apart, Pam nursed Hannah until she died in 2004, aged 10.

Pam and Adam decided to continue the fundraising Hannah had started while she was in hospital and, with help from friends and family, Hannah’s Holiday Home was born.

That was seven years ago and, in that time, Pam has raised almost £400,000.

It has allowed 200 families of very sick children the chance to relax together in one of two luxury static homes, one in the New Forest, the other in Hayling Island. On top of that she juggles working at a nursery with looking after her family, including new husband Colin and daughter Grace.

Adam said: ‘She is always trying to raise awareness and the charity’s profile so more families can find out about it and have a break.

‘She has organised so many events I’ve lost count. She also gives counselling to families who have gone through the same sort of things we went through – which must be really hard bringing all those old memories up. Mum really is remarkable.’

Pam said she was overwhelmed with the award. Kim Hosier from Portsmouth Area Rape Crisis Service was highly commended. The other nominees were Clare Martin, of Pompey in the Community, Councillor Susan Bayford, Macmillan nurse Elaine Bowes, Jayne Gentle from the Independence and Wellbeing team at Portsmouth City Council, Sabrina Richards from Hilsea Lido Revival, Suzanne Stokes from Squirrels Daycare, Alison Reeds, and Jacky Charman.

A story in Tuesday’s edition of The News stated Haley Storey was highly commended in the Success category. It was in fact Paula Orton from BodyWorks.