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Family and colleagues of Framlingham woman Rachail Pollard, 56, pay tribute to her 'commitment to making a difference'

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Tributes have been paid to a Framlingham woman who died after completing a shift booking patients in for their Covid vaccinations.

Mother-of-three Rachail Pollard, 56, died unexpectedly from a heart attack at her home on Sunday, March 21, just two months after joining Suffolk GP Federation to help with its Covid-19 jab programme.

Mrs Pollard, who also worked for seven years as manager of Framlingham's St Elizabeth Hospice charity shop where she sold hundreds of items donated by singer Ed Sheeran, 'always put others first', according to her family.

Tributes have been paid to Framlingham woman Rachail Pollard who died after completing a shift booking patients in for their Covid vaccinations
Tributes have been paid to Framlingham woman Rachail Pollard who died after completing a shift booking patients in for their Covid vaccinations

Her daughter Rosie Pollard, 27, said: "She was an extremely caring person who always put others first and wanted to make people happy.

“She really enjoyed her job at the hospice shop, which gave her a purpose in life, and I know that the volunteers she worked with are devastated by her loss.”

Mrs Pollard, who had been on furlough from her full-time job as manager of the charity shop on Market Hill, took up the booking clerk role with the Covid vaccination service, based in the Federation's offices in Walton, near Felixstowe, in January - just eight days after it went live.

Rachail Pollard
Rachail Pollard

Milly Pilbro, the service's manager, said Mrs Pollard had 'brightened our days'.

She added: “We were privileged to have Rachail work with us and she was of great support to many patients as well as her colleagues during these difficult times.

“Her commitment to working to make a difference was tireless. Rachail showed patience and empathy alongside a good sense of humour, and is greatly missed by us all.”

Prior to becoming a Covid vaccination booking clerk, Mrs Pollard had worked at Framlingham's St Elizabeth Hospice as a manager for seven years.

During her time there, she met fellow Framlingham resident, singer Ed Sheeran, who has donated hundreds of items to sell, both in the shop and in online auctions, over the years.

Mrs Pollard also met fans who visited the shop from all over the world, including from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.

Hannah Bloom, Director of Income Generation at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Rachail has left a huge gap in the hospice team and especially in the charity shop in Framlingham.

“The staff and volunteers will miss her greatly as she was such a big personality and knew almost everyone in the town.

“As well as working for the hospice, Rachail also raised money and promoted our work whenever she could and she was an amazing ambassador for the organisation. Our thoughts are with Rachail’s family at this difficult time.”

Born and brought up in Sussex, Mrs Pollard and her husband Julian settled in Suffolk 28 years ago after he left the army. The couple later divorced, and Julian died three years ago.

Alongside her daughter Rosie, Mrs Pollard also leaves behind twin sons, Tom and Will, 31.

During her career, she had also worked as the headmaster’s secretary at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, and for a trampoline business owned by her husband.

A small private funeral will take place on April 30 and a larger memorial service will be held at Framlingham parish church St Michael’s once Covid restrictions have been lifted.

Mrs Pollard’s family are asking for donations to be made to St Elizabeth Hospital, which is based in Ipswich, in lieu of flowers.

Donations can be made via https://rachailpollard.muchloved.com/.

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