Borough to honour £7m fundraiser Dame Deborah

DAME Deborah James, who inspired the nation to donate nearly £7.5million for cancer research in the last months of her life, is to be commemorated by Woking Borough Council.

At a full meeting of the council last week, members approved a motion from Conservative leader Ayesha Azad that Deborah should be honoured because of her strong local connections.

Dame Deborah James pictured in the grounds of Glyndebourne Opera House last month, where she watched a performance of La Boheme with her husband, Sebastien

Dame Deborah, known as Bowelbabe, died at her parents’ home in the borough while receiving end-of-life care from a Woking Hospice team.

The former Winston Churchill School pupil and teacher at St John the Baptist secondary school teacher had set out to raise £250,000 for Cancer Research UK in the final months of her life

She battled terminal bowel cancer while writing an award-winning BBC podcast, You, Me and the Big C, and being a columnist for The Sun newspaper.

In proposing her motion to the council, Cllr Azad said: “Her inspirational words and actions have helped so many people and the Bowelbabe Fund has raised over £7million for clinical trials research as well as promoted bowel cancer awareness.

Her humour, dignity and zest to help others during a long illness have touched the entire nation. This council resolves that it is appropriate, subject to consultation with her family and their wishes, that some public and permanent commemoration of Dame Deborah James be established in Woking to honour her life, memory and achievement.”

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