Community Stars - Inspirational tales as nominations draw to a close

Mandy Paine MBE with her son Daniel outside Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
Mandy Paine MBE with her son Daniel outside Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
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A TERMINALLY ill woman has been nominated for a Community Stars award in the True Inspiration category due to her tireless work to change people’s opinions about dying and end-of-life care.

Mandy Paine, 51, of Selwyn Avenue, Littlehampton, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, has been nominated by Gill Pollard and Ruth Dickson.

Ms Dickson said: “Even through Mandy needs to use oxygen 24 hours a day, she has a long involvement with the National Council for Palliative Care.

“Mandy has been involved in writing a booklet to help other people that have the same illness called Difficult Conversations on COPD, which can also help other people as well. She is also on the trustee board of directors for Independent Lives.

“Mandy always has time for other people, she will also tell people to phone her any time day or night if they want someone to talk to.

“She spends most of her time campaigning and also speaks in the House of Lords. Through her tireless work she has played a key role in ensuring that people with personal experience are involved in improving how people are cared for and supported at their end of their lives.

“She will help anyone that needs help even though she is ill herself.”

Ms Pollard added: “Mandy is always willing to support anyone with a life-limiting condition or that has been diagnosed with terminal illness.

“When she received an MBE last year for all she has done, she told Prince Charles that it was not her accolade but for everybody who was involved in palliative care,

“She spends her time trying to support others who need a shoulder to lean on or cry. In spite of her significant mobility and health difficulties, she commits herself to turning the negatives into positives on a daily basis by helping others both locally and nationally.”

Mother-of-two Mrs Paine said: “I am blown away to be nominated for this award. When I was told my condition was terminal 12 years ago I decided to help people face dying and not be uncomfortable talking about it.

“I am a champion for Dying Matters but I campaign for any condition because there are a lot that do not fit the criteria for end-of-life care.”

The second nomination is Julia Richards, whose name has been put forward by Vicki Sargeant.

She said: “Jewels owns a small riding school in Crossbush. I have been riding there for a few years and when I had no confidence in my pony and was on the verge of giving up, Jewels came to my rescue. She gave me lessons at her stables and helped me to regain my confidence. Five years on I still have my pony thanks to Jewels and I think if she hadn’t have been there to help I probably would have sold my pony.

“She has helped many people in this way and has dedicated her time to teach beginners and take riders to shows to help gain confidence with a true understanding approach to even the nervous riders.

“She also holds regular shows to raise money for the Chestnut Tree House and the Sussex Snowdrop Trust.

“Jewels has worked her whole life to get where she is now and is a true credit to the community. She has touched the hearts and lives of everyone she has met. I will always be thankful to her for what she did for me as I’m sure others will be, too.”

Wendy Sykes, of Shadwells Court, Lancing, has been nominated by Heather Wilson.

She said: “Wendy had major heart surgery at 16-years-old and has severe health problems, but that does not stop her trying to help others.”