Tribute to Rachael Hutchinson by Des Lynch – Manager

16th June 2021
Rachael, a former service user, volunteer, our friend and a valued member of staff, sadly lost her
brave battle with illness recently. A more caring and fun loving person you couldn’t wish to meet.
We first met Rachael when she came to Wood Street for family support. It wasn’t long before she
decided that she wanted “to give something back”. Rachael’s circumstances meant that a financial
donation wasn’t possible, so she asked if she could volunteer.
Rachael immediately fitted into Wood Street life, with her bubbly, light-hearted outlook along with
hard work and determination to help improve the lives of local children. She was the perfect
addition to our team.
Eventually, after some persuading that she had all the necessary qualities to fulfil a role here at
Wood Street, she finally applied for a permanent position. I remember her being nervous in her
interview but above all, her passion for Wood Street and her desire to help others (in a similar
situation to circumstances that she herself had experienced), shone through. She simply ‘got’ it and
understood the families we supported.
Without doubt, appointing Rachael to the role of Project Worker and then in turn promoting her to
Senior Project Worker (in rapid succession), is one of the best decisions I have ever made as well as
being one of the easiest. In her all too short time with us she has left a lasting impression. I know
that she loved working here and in turn we all loved working alongside her.
At first hesitant to tackle new tasks, she soon overcame any self -doubt about her abilities and those
people that have volunteered with us, particularly our corporate partners will know just what an
inspiration she was. From volunteering herself to organising volunteers, seemingly overnight! She
instantly put people at ease, volunteers, families even Premiership footballers. I don’t think we’ll
ever forget the day she set Ilkay Gundogan to work sorting donations when he popped in for a visit.
She loved it.
Always self-deprecating, always professional but importantly, always one of the most loyal and
loveliest people you could ever wish to meet. We will all miss her very much.
Taken too soon but Rachael will forever hold a place in Wood Streets history.
Fondly remembered by all who were fortunate enough to work with her and to know her. Our
thoughts and sympathy go to all of Rachael’s family and friends.
RIP Rachael and thank you for being you.
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