Tribute: Gill Coole
Gill passed away 25 May 2017 due to cancer. On 5 April 2017 she had celebrated 20 years of marriage to David. She lived in Wendover all her married life. She left three children, two step children and two grandchildren. In August 2017, half her ashes were scattered at one of Gill’s favourite places – Trewent Point, Pembrokeshire.
Gill’s friends and colleagues noted her love of bright colours and ever-present smile in their tributes. Sue Sharp said: “Gill was beautiful through and through. A dear friend, support to so many vulnerable young people and a stunning lady. Miss you so much Gill – will never forget your vibrant clothes and sense of compassion and humour.”
Some also noted her baking skill – her coffee and walnut cake, bread and butter pudding and chocolate cake all featured in tributes.
Gill was a careers adviser with Connexions/Adviza. One of her colleagues penned the following extract about her:“Just in the last 5 years at Connexions and Adviza, Gill worked with over 800 young people, some of whom would have been experiencing the most difficult of circumstances, and moved at least 200 of them into new opportunities. Gill showed immense empathy and an ability to recognise the individual needs of each young person she worked with; she helped them address these barriers and achieve positive outcomes when previously they had very limited life chances.”
At her funeral, a young person who had read about her death in the newspaper attended because he wanted to pay his respects and tell her family: “Gill was amazing…. she saved my life! I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her; she went out of her way to help me when my own family did nothing”. In this instance, Gill helped the client sort out his living arrangements when he was made homeless, helped him apply for many jobs and took him to the interview which he then got and it enabled him to finally move forward positively and successfully in his life. He is still working and said his life was turned around by the committed attitude and unflinching encouragement of Gill. This was the type of Careers Coach Gill was, all young people were important, no matter their background; in fact, she believed those who didn’t have much support at home needed more of our time as workers. She believed, with the right type of support and careers guidance, all young people could be successful.
On 7 March 2018 Gill posthumously won the National Career Adviser/Coach of the Year 2018 award. David collected the award on her behalf.
For a video tribute, search ‘Gill Coole’ on YouTube.