A reporter who worked on South London papers for three decades has finally hung up her notepad and pen.
After initially starting out in journalism as a 16-year-old school leaver, Helen took a break from the industry before returning in 1980.
Colleagues said she had become well-known in the community for her commitment, accuracy and investigative skills and held a party to mark her departure from the industry.
Helen’s career in journalism initially began with a three-year apprenticeship with the Croydon Advertiser at the age of 16.
After a break, she returned to journalism in 1980 as a part-time reporter for the newly-launched Sutton Guardian, while she also looked after her two sons.
She joined the Epsom Guardian in the mid-1980s and has dedicated the rest of her working life to the paper.
Helen said it had been a privilege to meet many ‘extraordinary’ people during her time as a reporter.
She said: “I remain in awe of people who are able to tackle horrendous personal catastrophes without succumbing to bitterness and I am astonished at the years of unselfish service people give to their communities without any reward or what people will do to raise money for their favourite charity.”
She now plans to research her family tree in her retirement.
Sean Duggan, group editor of Newsquest South London, said: “Helen has clearly had a deep commitment not just to journalism but to the people and places where she has lived and worked for so long.
“Her courage, commitment and professionalism over many years have made a huge contribution in the newsroom and the community.”
Andy Murrill (13/07/2010 10:50:22)
Congratulations Helen on a sterling career. It was a pleasure to be your editor back in the 1990s and your commitment was an inspiration to all around you. In an industry that has undergone such huge challenges over the years, it’s people like you who continue to make local newspapers so special.
Mike Phelan (13/07/2010 16:47:39)
Congratulations Helen. It’s a long time since we worked together, but I shall always treasure the memories of times Epsom and Sutton Guardians. All the best for the future.
Paul Lagan (14/07/2010 17:17:35)
Congratulations Helen. What a milestone. It was an absolute pleasure to work with you at the SLG in all it’s offices – Morden, Sutton and North Cheam.
A real trouper with a nice, dry self-deprecating humour.
I’m forever minded about you bringing sack loads of squashes from your garden into the office. I can’t look a courgette in the face without thinking of you.
I echo Andy and Mike’s sentiments too.
Now get back to the garden – it’s marrow time!