Messages of support flood in following the death of Doddington mum Debbie Williams

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Messages of condolence have flooded in from across the country following the death of a Fenland woman who has helped thousands of police officers nationwide.

The family of Debbie Williams,who died last week aged 53, following a short battle with cancer have been overwhelmed by the messages of support that have come in.

Her husband Mark, who together with Debbie set up and runs the Police Firearms Officers Association, said he and the couple's four children: Katie, 26; James, 23; Megan, 20 and 18-year-old Rachel, have taken comfort from the obvious love and respect people had for Debbie.

The latest illness follows an earlier fight with breast cancer in 2013. This time the cancer returned at the end of January and was an aggressive form that had spread.

The couple, both former police officers, moved to Doddington in 2002 and since then Debbie has made her mark on the local community. She was a governor at the village's Lionel Walden School and also a standard bearer for the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

On top of all that Debbie, together with Mark and other volunteers, launched a national museum at the PFOA's headquarters in Chatteris earlier this year.

Mark said: "She was the driving force in setting up the Museum of Armed Policing, she worked tirelessly to get it just right and was very proud of what we have achieved.

"She worked for the PFOA and has helped support armed police officers across the country - the association looks after 8,500 officers. Debbie was even working when she was ill in hospital making sure the charity functioned and was doing the job of helping officers in need of support.

"We have had letters pour in from people saying how grateful they are for the help she has given and how sorry they are.

"The local community have been great too, really supportive. Debbie was very proud to be a standard bearer and attended funerals of Royal British Legion members. We put out a request for standard bearers to attend her funeral and have been overwhelmed by the response. Fourteen have said they want to come along.

"An armed police response vehicle ( ARV) is going to escort her coffin for the funeral which will be on Tuesday July 16 at Cambridge Crematorium's west chapel and the service will be led by Canon David Wilbraham, the national police chaplain."

The family have asked for donations, instead of flowers, for the woodlands oncology department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, where Debbie died on June 20.

"The care they gave Debbie was amazing. All the staff from the porters to the consultants have been brilliant and we just want to say thank-you for their incredible support," said Mark.

Fenland Citizen 

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Friday, 15 November 2019

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