Tributes to grandmother who helped 'countless' people find work
- Credit: Supplied by family
Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a Stowmarket grandmother and Jobcentre employee who helped "countless" people after she died with Covid-19.
Helen Brooks, who had battled cancer for more than 10 years, was admitted to Ipswich Hospital on December 11 for treatment for an infection.
She was recovering well and making plans to return home for Christmas when she was told that there had been a coronavirus outbreak on her ward.
Sadly, Mrs Brooks' health declined when she became infected with the virus and she passed away on New Year's Eve at 66 years old.
Mrs Brooks was born in Ipswich in 1954 and started her working life at a Volvo dealership in the town before moving to an accounts role at BT in Martlesham.
After taking voluntary redundancy, she became a civil servant at the Stowmarket Jobcentre - a role she held for around 20 years.
During this time, Mrs Brooks suffered from various cancers and was told her condition was terminal, but she continued to work throughout her illness.
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She married her husband Robert aged just 18 and the couple had three children, Claire, Helena and Ruth.
Mrs Brooks also leaves behind seven grandchildren.
Robert said: "She was such a selfless lady. All she cared about was looking after other people - everything was about everybody else.
"Even in the hospital she was talking to young people about their jobs. That's just how she was. She must have helped countless people."
Abby said of her grandmother: "She was really like a second mum to me. We saw her everyday.
"She has passed on so many things, such as how strong she was.
"All the time she was sick she never complained about it. She was such a fighter throughout it all. She made such a difference to so many people's lives.
"I am just so fortunate to have had the privilege to be her granddaughter."
Mrs Brooks' daughter Ruth also paid tribute to the healthcare staff who treated her mother in hospital.
She said: "Seeing what the nurses did was unbelievable. It was heart-breaking. I can't thank them enough.
"I am going to miss her so dearly."