A tribute to Jackie Edwards

Here at Winston’s Wish, we were saddened to learn of the death over the Christmas break of one of our most prolific volunteers, Jackie Edwards.

Jackie and her beautiful Newfoundland PAT (Pets as Therapy) dog, Mimi, joined Winston’s Wish in February 2017 and immediately became a popular draw at both therapeutic groups and fundraising events. Jackie was always the first to put her hand up to assist and would always help if she could, even rearranging her schedule at short notice to support us. When Jackie and Mimi joined forces with Winston Bear they were unstoppable and quickly earned the title ‘The Dream Team’.

Colleagues loved watching Jackie and Mimi work the crowds at events, posing for photos while Jackie answered endless questions about her canine partner. The passing public obviously loved meeting them both and Jackie was absolutely brilliant at engaging with as many people as she could. Jackie’s enthusiasm was infectious and anyone who stopped to talk to her left with a smile.

At residential weekends and day groups, the presence of Jackie and Mimi was reassuring for children, giving the tough ones a chance to be a bit soppy and the reticent ones something comforting to hug. Helpline Practitioner Di notes “It was so kind of her to give so much time to helping children find that little connection that made a big difference.”

Whether out in public, supporting fundraising events or in therapeutic settings, Jackie clearly loved sharing her beloved Mimi with others. Jackie always signed off her emails as “Mimi (Diva Dog) and her P.A. (Personal Assistant) Jackie. Fellow volunteer Cindy told us “Jackie often said her dog was the star of the show but in truth, they shone in equal measure. It was a pleasure to have met her and it’s a loss not only to those who knew her but also those who didn’t get the opportunity to meet her.”

Jackie offered her time and her heart to so many people and, together with Mimi, made such a lasting impact on the lives of bereaved children and anyone they came into contact with. We are so grateful to have known her and are thankful to her for everything she did to spread awareness and raise funds to support our work. Jackie Edwards will be sincerely missed in the Winston’s Wish offices.

Our thoughts are with her family, to whom we are also grateful for continuing to support our cause through funeral donations.