Shropshire Star

How retiring Oswestry receptionist Irene has made a difference to her business and charity

An Oswestry breast cancer survivor who became well known in the town for her ‘pink day’ fundraisers is hanging up her receptionist’s phone and retiring after 38 years of working for a local law firm.


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Irene Eke joined Brown & Lloyd, now known as GHP Legal, in 1986 and became ‘the voice at the other end of the line’ for many hundreds of the firm’s clients.

In 1993 she survived major surgery for breast cancer and has been a regular fundraising organiser in the firm’s Willow Street offices ever since.

From persuading solicitors and other staff to dress down in support of Genes for Jeans, to getting them to wear pink socks, pink fingernails and even pink pyjamas on Wear It Pink Day for Breast Cancer Awareness, Irene has been an inspiration to everyone who works with her.

Irene said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to have a job where I could talk to and meet so many different people and all my colleagues have been hugely supportive of my fundraising.

"To be honest, I don’t know how I would have got through the time following my cancer diagnosis without the support of the firm’s staff and partners.

"I am going to miss the job, but I hope to continue popping in for many years to come, to collect their donations on Pink Day, wearing the pink fluffy ears my granddaughter gave me all those years ago.”

GHP Legal Senior Partner, Richard Lloyd, said: “Irene is one of the most cheerful people I have ever met, and she has been an inspiration to other breast cancer sufferers and survivors in the town. At GHP Legal we were all proud of the way she handled her illness and have always been keen to support her fundraising ideas.

"It has been a privilege to have her sitting on the reception desk for all these years as the firm’s first face-to-face point of contact.

“After such a long time it is going to seem strange not to see her behind the reception desk, but she deserves a well-earned rest, and we all wish her the very best in her retirement.”

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