Service honours ‘child champion’ from Ixworth

Jean Anderson with grandsons Jake and Ethan
Jean Anderson with grandsons Jake and Ethan
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More than 400 people attended a memorial service on Thursday to honour a woman whose ‘world revolved around children’.

Jean Anderson had lived in Ixworth 33 years when, on July 28, she died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage, aged 66.

Her daughter Emily said ‘she was a champion of children all her life,’ from her early career as a social worker in Norwich, close to where she grew up in Beccles, through to her most recent work at the Bury Child Contact Centre.

She spent 14 years as a teaching assistant at Ixworth Middle School and eight years at Honington Primary School, helping children with special needs, including autism, Asperger’s syndrome and dyslexia.

The mother-of-three also helped run a mother and toddler group in Honington and a youth club and reading club in Ixworth.

Glenice Francis, headteacher at Ixworth, said: “Jean’s world revolved around children. She was totally committed to improving their lives, giving them the best possible chance to succeed educationally and socially. Jean had a long association with local schools, always working with children with complex and severe special needs.

“She was a valuable, hard-working and committed colleague, as well as a very special person who has touched the lives of so many children in a positive way. She cared so very much and made a real difference.”

Emily said: “Her rich and rewarding life, helping the youngest members of the community, is an inspiration to us all.”