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Much-loved fundraising star remembered after death aged 79

PUBLISHED: 16:37 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:37 20 January 2020

Gwen Wicks. PHOTO: Lisa Oliver

Gwen Wicks. PHOTO: Lisa Oliver

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A fundraising hero and much-loved guest house owner who raised thousands for local charities has been hailed after passing away at home earlier this month.

The Lowestoft Journal on May 27, 2005, when Gwen Wicks and Ann Youngman were awarded the Mayor's Civic Award. PHOTO: Lisa OliverThe Lowestoft Journal on May 27, 2005, when Gwen Wicks and Ann Youngman were awarded the Mayor's Civic Award. PHOTO: Lisa Oliver

Gwen Wicks died at her Lowestoft home on January 12, aged 79, after a lengthy battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Her daughter Lisa Oliver paid tribute to the popular town stalwart, who ran Edingworth Guest House with her husband Keith for more than three decades.

She said: "She was always so very popular and everyone around the town seemed to know her and love her. The guest house was her life. She worked tirelessly and ever so hard for 30 years, not stopping for one minute, but they were really happy times.

"She was a very strong lady and was very well liked. She always had a smile on her face and all of her friends thought the world of her because she was just such a great person. She loved being surrounded by her family and friends and she just loved life.

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Along with friend Ann Youngman, Mrs Wicks helped raise thousands for local East Anglian charities over 30 years.

The duo were involved in setting up Lowestoft's Got Talent at the Victoria Hotel, and were awarded the Mayor's Civic Award in Lowestoft in 2005.

In a report in the Lowestoft Journal on May 27, 2005, it states: "Fashion shows, garden parties, quiz nights and other events have helped to provide a wheelchair for a multiple sclerosis sufferer, to send a little girl with leukaemia to Cambridge for treatment, boosted the Richard Girling testicular cancer appeal, raised funds to send under-privileged children and their mothers on holiday, and helped to pay for equipment for local hospitals."

Mrs Oliver said: "They lost a friend to cancer in the late 1970s and from then on they started having fetes and raising money for Big C and they just continued doing fashion shows and fundraisers.

"They were both working mothers and she had a family to look after and a business to run, but she managed to do all sorts.

Mrs Wicks, who was born in Beccles, moved to Lowestoft as an 18-year-old, and leaves behind daughter Lisa and sons Kevan, Gary and Tony.

A funeral service will take place on Friday, February 7 at Waveeny Crematorium, Ellough, at 1pm, with donations accepted for the PSP Association and Big C.

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