Tributes paid to fun-loving volunteer Barbara

Barbara was highly commended in the service with a smile category of the Pride In Dacorum Awards in 2013. She is pictured with Nitin Ganatra from EastEnders.

Barbara was highly commended in the service with a smile category of the Pride In Dacorum Awards in 2013. She is pictured with Nitin Ganatra from EastEnders.

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Tributes have been paid to a long serving volunteer who racked up 18 years of charity work.

Popular Barbara Reynolds-Sale, 70, was well known for her sense of humour and always kept people laughing during her time helping out at the Volunteer Centre.

She first joined the centre in 1997 when it was based in Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town and was recruited by former chief executive Heather Allen MBE.

Barbara, who was landlady of The George pub in Nash Mills from 1981 to 1987, had decided to lend her time after recovering from a serious illness, which forced her to give up full time work.

Heather said: “At first Barbara helped us out on one afternoon a week and then increased it to two as she enjoyed it so much.

“One thing you could always rely on was an afternoon where a lot of admin got done but also loads of jokes were shared.

“Barbara had a wicked sense of humour and never failed to make use laugh.”

Barbara continued to help out at the Volunteer Centre when it moved to the Roundhouse in Marlowes and also gave her time to the town’s Shopmobility service.

Heather said: “Barbara was a fiercely loyal lady - to her family, friends and to the organisations she helped. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and always did so with a cheeky grin.

“All her past and present friends at Volunteer Centre Dacorum will miss her hugely, but all our lives have been enriched by having known Barbara.”

Despite long-standing health problems she remained a dedicated volunteer and particularly enjoyed penning volunteer vacancy adverts using her own creative writing skills to promote them in the best light. 
Current chief executive at the Volunteer Centre Richard Pitts said: “She became very ill earlier this year and she spent quite a lot of time on hospital and hospice care.

“I think she was always planning on coming back in when she was well enough.

“It was a real shock, We knew she had been ill for a while so in that sense we had been prepared for the worst. She had always fought back before so we always thought Barbara would make it back again.”

Barbara passed away on Monday, September 21 and her funeral will be held on Monday (October 5) at West Herts Crematorium in Garston at 11.40am.

Family flowers only are requested but donations can be made to the Hospice of St Francis, c/o The Co-operative Funeralcare, Wood Lane, Hemel Hempstead, 01442 255689.

The Volunteer Centre will be closed on the day of the funeral in a mark of respect.