St Giles Hospice’s head of fundraising dies after falling ill on Vietnam charity trek

Tributes have been paid to St Giles Hospice’s head of fundraising who has died after falling ill during a fundraising trip in Vietnam.

Helen Relihan

Helen Relihan

Helen Relihan had been in the role with the Whittington-based charity for eight years.

The 51-year-old had fallen ill on October 19 and was receiving medical treatment before her death on November 3.

St Giles Hospice’s chief executive Emma Hodges said: “We are profoundly shocked and saddened at the news of the tragic death of a highly regarded, greatly respected and tremendously dedicated colleague.

“In her years as head of fundraising for our charity, Helen played an essential role in enabling St Giles to grow to meet the needs of the community we serve, and she provided a vital link between the hospice and our supporters throughout the local area.

“Her total commitment to furthering the cause of St Giles Hospice was typified by her determination to join the Vietnam Trek as a fundraiser. The fact that she has lost her life while participating in a charitable event that she was looking forward to so much is utterly heartbreaking.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Helen’s partner and her family and we will be doing whatever we possibly can to support them during this incredibly difficult time.”

A second member of the group trekking vietnam was also taken ill but has since returned home after recovering in hospital.

Helen’s brother, John Relihan, said: “Helen’s family, partner and friends are devastated by the sudden loss of a special, wonderful, vibrant, amazing, loving and dedicated woman who did so much for others and touched the hearts of all who knew her.

“Helen will be greatly missed. Such a bright light has left our lives.”

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