Tributes paid to Chadwell Heath MS campaigner Marjorie Collins as she loses cancer battle
A tireless campaigner who devoted her life to helping others has been described as “one in a million” by friends and family.
Marjorie Collins, who began helping multiple sclerosis sufferers as a child and opened the Chadwell Heath centre which bears her name, died earlier this month after a short battle with cancer.
Her husband Peter and son Clive were at her side.
The 84-year-old former resident of Northwood Gardens, Gants Hill, began helping MS sufferers as a 10-year-old after she helped her young neighbour walk to and from the railway station because he struggled to cross the road.
From that point on, Mrs Collins worked to improve the lives of MS sufferers and her greatest achievement was the opening of the Marjorie Collins Day Centre in Grove Road, Chadwell Heath, in 1991, after six years of campaigning.
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Her charity work was acknowledged in 1994 when she was made an MBE.
Shirley Sasse, who has known Marjorie since she joined the centre 19 years ago, said: “The centre has been a godsend to me.
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“After being diagnosed with MS, Marjorie encouraged me to get involved in office work at the centre which stopped me from feeling useless.
“She was one in a million and there will never be anyone else like her.”
Mrs Collins, who later moved to Chelmsford, won the Celebrities Guild Unsung Heroes Award in 1991, the same year the centre opened and she also started a group for newly diagnosed sufferers, giving advice and support to them and their families.
The dedicated campaigner once told the Recorder that working with and for people with MS was the greatest privilege of her life.
Cllr Chris Cummins, who supported the charity during his time as mayor, added: “She was a remarkable lady and had worked hard from the 1950s raising money for MS.
“The centre provides therapy and activities for people with the condition and it has had a big impact on the local community and without her, it wouldn’t be there.”