WARM tributes have been paid to a leading health campaigner in Waveney who died following a fight against cancer.

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Jane Leighton founded Halesworth Health and also worked hard to help promote and save services in the wider Waveney area.

The 69-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and died on July 4.

Ms Leighton, who lived in Halesworth, was the former chairman of Waveney Primary Care Trust.

She also founded Halesworth Health – specifically aimed at improving and protecting local services in the town – and developed the website halesworthhealth.org. She was also working on a business case to link health and care services with housing, sports and other wellbeing facilities.

Richard Kell and Annette Abbott, from Halesworth Health, said: “During the last few years, as well as being advocate for health services in the wider Waveney area, she had worked tremendously hard to help promote and save the services that matter most to local people in Halesworth.

“In particular with local charities and Cutlers Hill Surgery she started Halesworth Health, now a registered charity, to safeguard, support and develop community health and care for Halesworth and the surrounding rural area.

“She will be greatly missed.”

Ms Leighton was born in Norfolk and spent the early part of her career in Liverpool at a pregnancy advice centre.

At the newly established Community Health Council she led effective challenges for better services for those without a lobbying group of their own.

She later joined Granada TV – winning the right of an Anglo Pakistani woman to bring her three children back to Britain to live at home with their family. The programme won her a Royal Television Society Award for journalism.

She also held roles as chair of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, chair of Salford’s mental health trust and a consultancy for the Liverpool Housing Action Trust.

Ms Leighton is survived by her brother Robin, her sister Elizabeth and by Samantha and Leslie, children from her early marriage.

Donations in her memory can be sent to the League of Friends of the Patrick Stead Hospital, the Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund or Dignitas.

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