Tributes paid to North Walsham charity fund-raiser who died in Horstead car crash
06:30 22 March 2013
Tributes have been paid to a tireless charity worker who died in a car accident at Horstead.
Carole Broom died from multiple injuries suffered in the crash on the Norwich to North Walsham road last Friday.
She is well-known in north Norfolk for her fund-raising - first for the former Cromer Hospital radio station where she was also a presenter, and more recently for the town’s Halsey House British Legion home.
Using her bubbly personality, she raised tens of thousands of pounds for the two organisations.
Her husband Keith, who was also in the car and suffered a broken foot, cuts and bruises, said his wife of 20 years “always put others before herself.”
And Halsey House matron manager Sally Mills said Mrs Broom, from North Walsham, had “the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met.”
Carole went to school in Earlham, Norwich, and worked at various places including the stationery office, C and A store and the Rowntree chocolate factory but her longest, 20-year spell was with John Lewis, mostly in the china and glass department.
It was there she met Keith who was in security and more recently in the warehouse.
“We started as friends - then I invited her to Cromer hospital radio where I volunteered. I put her in front of a mic’ and asked to read a request. She did not want to, but did and then I could not keep her away. She took to it like a duck to water,” he said.
They presented the Monday night request show together but it was in the fund-raising side where Carole really shone when Keith became chairman asked her to find sponsorship.
“If she made her mind up to do something she was 100pc committed. She was a people person and went around town talking to business people - making many friends along the way.”
She persuaded traders to provide the ingredients for a hospital bed-sized cake to mark the station’s 10th birthday - and got the Cliftonville hotel chefs to bake it, before it was hauled down to the seafront by the lifeboat crew and cut up to give to care home and hospital patients.
The pair took a break from fund-raising when Keith suffered a heart attack, but returned to volunteering action when his parents became residents of Halsey House. While Keith helped at the bar and did a 90-mile charity walk, Carole set about organising events including the big annual fete
Mr Broom said: “She put others people before herself - that was Carole. She helped our neighbours with shopping and always had a smile on her face even when she was not in good health herself.”
The couple, from Chestnut Avenue, were returning from a routine shopping trip to buy bed linen when the crash happened. An inquest opening at Norwich yesterday heard their blue Vauxhall Agila collided head-on with a 1973 red Rover 3500cc at about 1.50pm. The male driver of the Rover suffered serious head, chest and leg injuries and was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Carole leaves a son, three step children and three grandchildren. A funeral will be held on April 10 at St Faith’s crematorium at 12.30pm.