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'Inspirational' New Addington woman passes away from cancer


AN "INSPIRATIONAL" 67-year-old, known to hundreds on the New Addington estate for her work selling Avon cosmetics, has died.

Brenda Levett died in St Christopher's Hospice on January 9, after a short fight with cancer.

The former nurse had lived in Uvedale Crescent for more than 20 years, moving to the estate in search of a new life after adopting her grandson, Danny Christie.

Speaking from their home this week, Danny said: "She was my angel really and she saved my life.

"Without her I would not be here and I want everyone to know how much I love her.

"We did not have many special events but the time we had together we made special. You will never find a person like her again."

After working as a nurse, including at King's College and St Thomas's hospitals, Brenda started out as an Avon salesperson ten or so years ago.

It was a role she loved, friends and family said, as much for the social side as the chance to support the company's work to beat breast cancer.

Neighbour and co-worker Tracey Redpath said: "Everyone would see her on the parade with her little clip board. She was known as 'Brenda the Avon lady.

"She also had a lot of elderly customers and she would go and check up on them, especially when there was bad weather.

"She would sit with customers, talk to them and do their dishes."

Danny, 25, said: "It was a pleasure for her and she loved it. I also do not think she realised how much she was loved."

Brenda had also worked for the National Autistic Society as a carer at the St Edwards home on the estate.

Danny said: "She took them out, had a rapport with them and she was always there for every single one."

Most of all, friends and family said, she was a great friend and mother whose courage in the face of illness inspired them all.

Friend and co-worker Berni Dorrington said: "All she worried about was the house and Danny and getting thing sorted out.

"That sums her up really – she cared about everybody before herself. She could always make you feel better, no matter how you felt. She would just sit there and listen."

Danny and Brenda's friends hosted an early Christmas party for her in November, fearing she might not make it to the real event.

"At that point I was not really accepting it," Danny said, "but she loved Christmas and she really enjoyed it."

A funeral will be held for Brenda on January 25, at noon, at her St Edward Church.

Attendees are asked to wear something pink.

"Was there anything dull about Brenda?" Berni said.

Donations for St Christopher's Hospice and to help with funeral costs will be gratefully accepted via the church.

'Inspirational' New Addington woman passes away from cancer

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