5:11pm Friday 4th January 2013
WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance’s biggest fundraiser Dot Whitehead, who raised more than £1.7million alongside volunteers for the appeal, died on New Year’s Eve.
Mrs Whitehead, 81, started as manager of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance shop, in Maristow Street, Westbury, when it opened in the town in 1997.
She ran the shop for 15 years and was voted as Westbury’s person of the year in 2011. Mrs Whitehead was also invited to Buckingham Palace on two occasions as a result of her charity work.
Prior to the air ambulance shop, Mrs Whitehead also spent 21 years managing Westbury’s Red Cross shop, bringing her years of volunteering in the town to over 36 years.
Her daughter, Sandra Hayter, 59, said: “She was a wonderful person who put a lot of work into raising money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
“She managed the shop five or six days a week right up until a few months before her death. She loved everything she did for charity and was very well known by everyone in the town.
“She was also very determined and battled with cancer throughout her life, beating it three times before she was diagnosed a fourth time a few weeks before she died. She was a great mum and she loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
“Her life revolved around the work she did for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and she will always be very fondly remembered in Westbury.”
Shop volunteer Peggy Pearce added: “She was a wonderful woman who got on well with everybody in the shop and in Westbury, where she was well known.
“It has all happened rather suddenly and it has left the shop in limbo, but she worked so hard over the years for charity and raised so much money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.”
Mrs Whitehead's funeral will take place on January 10 at All Saints' Church in Westbury. Donations in her memory can be made to Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Age UK.
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