Past and present staff are invited to form a guard of honour at the funeral of dedicated North Devon care agency boss Gwen Dockrell.

Gwen Dockrell was a passionate believer in care, setting high standards for herself and her staff at Chapter Care. Picture: contributedGwen Dockrell was a passionate believer in care, setting high standards for herself and her staff at Chapter Care. Picture: contributed

Before the 3pm service for Mrs Dockrell on Thursday, August 6, care staff who worked for her at Chapter Care (North Devon) or anyone that knew her is invited to wear their present uniforms or blue and line the road outside North Devon Crematorium.

Anyone who wishes to pay their respects is asked to line up on the Old Torrington Road by 2.45pm.

Mrs Dockrell, from Barnstaple, passed away unexpectedly following a severe stroke and short stay in hospital on July 20, aged 71.

Her second husband John, whom she married in 2008, said she had devoted her life to helping countless others in any way she could.

He said she had worked for the council and private care companies but the same year they married, she came home and told him she was ‘fed up with seeing old folk left wanting from the services they were receiving’.

With John’s help and another former co-worker, Chapter Care was formed, initially operating from a small office at Winkleigh with a handful of clients.

Today it has grown to 120-plus clients and more than 80 staff providing domiciliary care in Barnstaple, Bideford, South Molton and Ilfracombe.

Mrs Dockrell was born in North London and had a very difficult childhood that forged in her a desire to care for others and a devotion to her family.

She and her first husband Terry had three children and she leaves them plus seven grand children and one great grandchild.

John said: “Gwen would never ask you to do something she would not do herself and she would be out working with clients, covering sickness and holidays, regardless of the time of day or the weather.

“She was a stickler for standards of care and treating all clients with dignity and respect.

“She was someone who devoted her life to helping countless others in whatever way she could and as many people have said, she touched the hearts of all who knew her.”

Chapter Care training manager Mike Goodman said: “As Gwen used to say ‘we don’t have problems we have opportunities’ and that summed up Gwen’s attitude to life and care.

“Gwen taught me that asking for help is not a sign of weakness – it’s a strength because you want to make sure you are doing what is right both for the client and yourself.”

The funeral service is for family only but anyone who wishes to make a donation to The Stroke Association can do so via WS Gayton funeral directors. The service can be watched live online at https://www.obitus.com/ with username Qaxo4332 and password 176807.