News Walthamstow

Inspirational lawyer and volunteer honoured with annual gala

The gala will raise money to support sufferers of ovarian cancer

Debbie Baldwin in her ambulance volunteer uniform (credit: LAS)
Debbie Baldwin in her ambulance volunteer uniform (credit: LAS)

A local lawyer and lifelong volunteer, who met her husband at the Walthamstow Woolworths aged 19, has received an award and annual gala in her memory.

Debbie Baldwin died last September at the age of 52, only a few years after abrupt abdominal pain sent her to A&E in 2018, where it was discovered she had ovarian cancer.

After a lifetime helping others, including advocating for mentally ill prisoners on death row, Debbie continued her charity work even while battling cancer.

She continued volunteering at the London Ambulance Service, even when her vulnerability to Covid forced her off the frontline, and raised more than £16,000 for Ovacome, a support charity for ovarian cancer sufferers.

Husband Pravin and close friends have started an annual Ovacome Gala to raise money for the charity in her honour, while the London Ambulance Service has named an award after her.

Pravin told the Echo: “She was always helping others and her ethics were unquestionable. It was never about her.

“At her funeral half a dozen people came up to me and said how inspiring Deb had been for them, in a life changing way.”

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Friend and former colleague at a local law firm, Arona Sarwar, added that Debbie was always the one who would “speak up for colleagues if something was not right” and “felt like a sister”.

She said: “She was my consistent, go-to person and her passing is a big loss to me.”

The London Ambulance Service has introduced a ‘Debbie Baldwin Inspirational Volunteer Award’, presented to those who go above and beyond normal duties.

Antony Tiernan from LAS said: “It is an honour to be able to dedicate this award to Debbie, and to make sure her legacy will continue to shine on through the work of our volunteers across London.

“Not only did Debbie devote so much of her time as an emergency responder, she also passionately shared her story to promote greater awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms.

“The care and dedication she showed everyone she worked with and cared for, was nothing short of inspirational, and she is missed every day.”

The Ovacome Gala is 19th March on the Tereza Joanne boat at the King George V Dock – find out more and book tickets here

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