Commemorative bench for charity campaigner Ivy

Ivy Needham
Ivy Needham
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A ‘truly inspirational’ charity campaigner who raised thousands of pounds and battled tirelessly for justice is to be remembered with the installation of a commemorative bench in Leeds.

Ivy Needham, supported scores of good causes before her death in December last year, aged 88.

Among them were the firefighters’ strike in 1992 - when she frequented the picket line with supplies of fish and chips. She was also well-known for fighting home help charges for pensioners in 2003.

Mrs Needham also rallied against day centre closures in 2009 and raised more than £4,000 for Help for Heroes, for injured soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

The deafblind guide dog owner, who was honoured with an MBE in 1996, was known for her enthusiasm and lively personality.

“Ivy was a true inspiration,” said Lesley Sharp, of Action for Blind People, adding: “Deaf-blindness shouldn’t be a barrier to leading an active life, but diagnosis of visual impairment or hearing loss is understandably a shattering experience for some people.

“Ivy proved life goes on in a very active way, which is why we decided to create a lasting memory of this incredible lady by presenting something that can be shared by everyone in the community, just as Ivy would have wanted.”

The bench is being unveiled outside the Leeds office of Action for Blind People and the Leeds Vision Consortium, at Fairfax House, on Monday at 2pm.

Ivy’s daughter, Wendy Fletcher, said: “It’s amazing. My brother and I are so proud of Mum. she is still shining from up there.

“It’s a lovely tribute and it shows people thought so much of her. I’m delighted she’s still making an impact.”

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