In memory of our President, Baroness Brenda Dean


Baroness Brenda Dean of Thornton Le Fylde speaking at The Abbeyfield Society conference in 2015It was with great sadness that we received the news that our President, Baroness Brenda Dean, had passed away.

Brenda was an incredibly inspirational woman who gave so much of her time to Abbeyfield, touching so many within our organisation, since her election as President in September 2012. Over the last six years, from representing Abbeyfield in public – always without a script, and championing the issues affecting the UK’s older people – to her many visits across our Abbeyfield family, Brenda always spoke from the heart; it was so evident just how much she cared.

Brenda formed a particularly special bond with Tresillian House in Falmouth, which she opened long before her presidency in 2003, and would regularly pop in to catch up with residents, staff and volunteers. Senior House Manager at Tresillian House, Linda Harley, said of her:

“Brenda was kind and caring and remembered the residents every time she visited. She knew all their ailments and likes and dislikes and spoke to them as individuals, making them feel valued and important – so true to the Abbeyfield ethos.”

Baroness Brenda Dean spending time with some Abbeyfield residents during a visit to one of our homes“Brenda never missed our Summer Fetes; she always made sure she was in Falmouth for that date and would give the most inspiring opening speech. She loved all the new young volunteers and made a point of mentioning them and speaking to them individually.”

“Brenda was a true Ambassador for Abbeyfield and she will be very much missed by us all.”

Brenda’s warmth and generosity of spirit, coupled with her experience and professionalism, enabled Abbeyfield to reach further than ever before, all against the backdrop of her incredible dedication to a number of other causes, including her role in Parliament.

John Robinson CBE, The Abbeyfield Society’s Vice-President and former Chairman, said:

“I’ve known Brenda for over 20 years and she has always had such a way with people. Her amazing levels of empathy, and ability to give her time when it is most needed, has always allowed her to help people to understand the bigger picture; when things are worth fighting for and when things are worth letting go of.

“Brenda’s selfless attitude toward everything she did, and her unwaveringly warm and friendly personality, makes her undoubtedly the best Non-Executive Director I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

Baroness Brenda Dean with Ian Plaistowe at the Abbeyfield Society conference 2016“She made a huge contribution to Abbeyfield, not least in supporting me. A woman loved by all.”

Brenda’s legacy at Abbeyfield will continue; her visits will be so fondly remembered by all that she met and her kindness, spirit and dedication to both our organisation and the issues affecting older people will never be forgotten. Ian Plaistowe, The Abbeyfield Society’s Chairman, said:

“Brenda was a brilliant President of Abbeyfield. She had a wonderful, warm and friendly personality with which she charmed all of us. She worked extremely hard for Abbeyfield throughout her presidency, visiting many homes, taking part in conferences all over the country, hosting meetings in the House of Lords and advising us on issues affecting older people which were being considered by Parliament. To say that she will be missed is an understatement, not only for help to Abbeyfield but also as a lovely person."

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