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Obituary: Jan Allen – charity stalwart and 'pillar of strength'

A LYMINGTON woman who devoted her time to helping those less fortunate in both a professional and volunteer capacity has died aged 68.

Janet Allen, known as Jan, passed away at Oakhaven Hospice on 10th May following a short battle with cancer.

Always concerned for the less fortunate, in particular those with physical disabilities, she spent 15 years as chair of the board of the New Forest Disability Information Service based in New Milton. When Jan handed over the reins it had become a thriving charity.

Jan Allen died after a short illness
Jan Allen died after a short illness

Having moved to the town around 20 years ago from London after being appointed by Hampshire County Council to manage care teams in the New Forest, Jan threw herself fully into the role, gradually expanding the team to make sure all clients received the best of care and attention.

Her ready smile and excellent knowledge placed her in a very good position to get the best out of her team, and this she did with the minimum of fuss, but maximum attention to detail.

Jan had turned down promotion which would have involved travelling to Winchester and spending less time with her much-loved family; husband Peter and sons James and Matthew.

However, once the children were older, she was head-hunted and put in charge of care teams at University Hospital Southampton. This was a new role in an attempt to reduce bed blocking and move patients in recovery to appropriate care.

Once she was retired, she dedicated her time to various charitable causes, including the Santa Dash for Oakhaven and many events on behalf of the Lymington Community Centre. She firmly believed that the community centre was an asset for everyone in Lymington, and she regularly volunteered for theatre duty and fundraising. She also volunteered regularly for the parkrun in Woodside.

Jan lived life to the full, whether sailing dinghies with her husband or as a proud supporter of her sons sporting achievements in local cricket, rugby and hockey.

She loved the area and enjoyed walking on the sea wall and in the forest. She also took up cycling, which she enjoyed locally as well as a taking part in an event in Cape Town.

Above all, her family came first and the later years bought great joy with the arrival of four grandchildren.

A statement from her family said: "A dedicated mother of two, devoted wife to her husband, pillar of strength to those needing her charitable endeavours. Always the competitor in sailing, cycling and life, she would never let herself be beaten. She knew how to party, never letting the champagne get warm or the dance floor get cold.

"While she may be gone, her legacy continues and her kindness reverberates around the Forest and Solent with those she helped."

Jan's funeral, which was by invitation only due to Covid restrictions, was held on Thursday at Test Valley Crematorium. Condolences and donations in aid of cancer charity Maggie's and Oakhaven can be made online at www.janet-marion-allen.muchloved.com/

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