In remembrance of her mother’s seafaring family, Hazel Brooks raised £330 for Newhaven Lifeboat when she overcame physical disability and found positive action out of grief. Hazel completed a three mile RNLI Mayday fundraising event along Seaford seafront.
‘Life is tough, but you have to be positive.’ Says Hazel Brooks, grandmother and mother of four, ‘I tried to help myself.’
Hazel’s active life has included adventures as daring as hand-gliding and bungee-jumping, but she has suffered for twenty years with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy, which affects balance and causes a sensation of burning pain in her hands and feet.
Pandemic sadness was exacerbated for Hazel by the tragic loss of her son Tommy Tomlin and her sister, both lost to cancer in the last eighteen months. Tommy of 42 Commando Royal Marines leaves behind his twin sister and another brother and sister and their families.
Hazel says: ‘I worked in mental health for 45 years. I gave some bereavement counselling in that time. The loss of a child is the worst imaginable feeling.’
The sunny view from Hazel’s living room spans from the sea and beach in the south, through Seaford Head to the east and north beyond High and Over.
Hazel praised the community spirit and friendship of her neighbours, ‘Jill bought my attention to Maydaymile and got me started. Richard provided great encouragement and shadowed me on the day in case I lost my balance. Bill managed the sponsorship donations.’
Of the donations she raised, Hazel says: ‘I have never asked for sponsorship before. After a trial run at the distance, I knew I had to challenge myself to achieve this. Life is amazing.’
Newhaven RNLI are hosting their annual Summer Fayre and fundraiser for the lifeboat and her volunteer crew this Saturday 2 July, 11am to 4pm at Fort Road Recreation Ground, Newhaven.
Feel good. There’s fun to be had for all the family whilst supporting the charity that saves lives at sea.
Notes for the editor
• Newhaven RNLI Summer Fayre will be held on Saturday 2 July, 11am to 4pm, at Fort Road Recreation Ground, Newhaven. It will include BBQ, bar, stalls, funfair, bouncy castle, classic car display, Formular One simulator, music and ‘meet the crew’.
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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