Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to 'unsung heroine' Hazel Gamble who helped found women’s centre

By Michelle Weir

Tributes have been paid to "unsung heroine" Hazel Gamble, a founding member of Windsor Women's Centre in the Village area of south Belfast who has passed away.

Mrs Gamble was praised not just for her role at the centre, but for her "huge commitment to cross-community work".

Former colleague Eleanor Jordan, who shared the role of co-ordinator with her friend, said taking part in training courses gave Ms Gamble confidence to apply for the post of shadow co-ordinator at the centre.

"She said that it was quite an achievement for someone who had left school without any qualifications to be doing a third level education course. She was very proud of that," she added.

Mrs Gamble was closely involved with women who came to the centre to do community work and who were on probation, as well as a cross-community project with women from the Shankill and Falls.

Although she retired from the post in 2010 due to ill health, she continued to have close links with the project, taking part in a community garden initiative.

Ms Jordan added: "Hazel was an integral part of our centre. She sums up what the centre was there for.

"She believed that childcare was a link to education for women. She believed that women deserved to be treated equally. She supported many women and she was a great role model.

"She won an award for her work at Ash House, the women's prison. Her passing is a terrible loss for the area and to the community. Maybe the greatest of heroines inhabit the stories that nobody hears. Hazel is an unsung heroine."

Her funeral will take place at 4pm tomorrow at Roselawn Crematorium. She is survived by husband Brian and daughters Kelly, Rachel and Catherine.

Belfast Telegraph

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