Tireless fundraiser who ran club for people with learning difficulties for 47 years dies

A big-hearted grandmother who ran a club for people with learning difficulties for 47 years has died.

June with her husband Raymond on their golden wedding anniversary in 2006
June with her husband Raymond on their golden wedding anniversary in 2006

June Neal, from Burntwood, also raised money for various charities including the NSPCC, RSPCA, Cancer Research and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

However, her Thursday Club, which met every two weeks at Cannock's St Luke's Church was her first love.

Daughter Tracey said: "Mum was always doing something for someone else and she loved running the Thursday club.

"She ran it for 47 years and made such a difference to those who attended every two weeks.

"She did so many work for so many charities and was also a foster carer so was always giving back. This is where June felt her happiest, because love was unconditionally and the members of the Thursday club became her extended family.

"With the loving support of her husband Ray, who died in 2008, and the support from her best friend Dianne Jones and the parents of the members .

"She dedicated her time to making memories with the members, youth clubs, Easter, Halloween, Christmas parties day trips to support to the parents, her love and devotion was endless."

June with her Thursday Club

The Thursday Club was forced to close during the pandemic and never reopened due to June's deteriorating health.

She started child minding in 1966 looking after over 40 or more children until she retired in 2001. She suffered with health issues and needed a hip replacement, she also once fell down a manhole.

After decades of raising money for Cancer Research June died aged 86 earlier this month of pancreatic cancer leaving behind three children and four grandchildren.

June's funeral is on Wednesday at 1.30pm at Chase & District Memorial Park, Burntwood Way.

Tracey said: "There are so many people my mother helped over the years it is impossible to track them down but everyone is invited to her funeral."

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