FRIENDS, family and colleagues of HydeMartlet’s popular housing officer Maureen Hood gathered in Fernhurst for a special tree planting ceremony in her memory.
The cherry tree, together with a bench which has been placed close-by, was planted in the middle of the Nappers Wood development where Maureen helped so many people.
The £7m scheme to regenerate Nappers Wood in Fernhurst started in 2004 when Maureen was working for the HydeMartlet development team, charged with taking care of those who were affected.
Those who gathered at the spot in the middle of the development included her mother, husband, sister, daughter and sons.
There were also around 30 members of HydeMartlet and Martlet Build including the Chichester North panel members, Piers Taylor from Chichester District Council who worked so closely with Maureen on youth aspects, Norma Graves, the district councillor for Fernhurst and a good number of the residents to whom Maureen had given so much help.
After the poignant ceremony, guests who had attended were invited to write their thoughts about Maureeen on ‘green leaves’.
These will be tied to the tree for everyone to read. One colleague said: “Maureen was a lady with a huge heart, sense of humour and a smile who will be remembered with love and affection by all who knew her.
Housing officer Maureen lost her short battle with cancer earlier this year in May.
Her saddened colleagues decided they wanted to do something in her memory. They decided that as she had been so closely connected with the major Nappers Wood regeneration scheme it would be a fitting tribute to plant a tree as a permanent commemoration of her life.
“Maureen worked very closely with all of the residents and the builders, Osbornes, to ensure everyone was relocated with the least upset and disturbance,” said a HydeMartlet spokesman.
“She was there to ensure the move went smoothly, often twice for each family, couple or person, and to make sure that furniture as much as garden ornaments made the move too!
“She became part of the family for many of the residents of Nappers Wood even after the development was completed and they were thrilled when she later became their housing officer.
“Nothing was ever too much trouble for Maureen for her residents, working tirelessly for ‘her’ community and her colleagues which is why they wanted to show their love and respect for her.”