A MUCH-LOVED grandmother who ran a Hatfield swimming club for disabled people has passed away aged 81.

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Joan Barratt, former chairman of the Platypus Swimming Club, died on April 17.

A tribute by Jim Redstone, the club’s vice chairman and treasurer, read: “Until a few months ago 81-year-old Joan had for many years been an active and enthusiastic member of the Platypus Club.”

He added: “Joan’s dedication and commitment to the Platypus Swimming Club over the past 30 years was remarkable.

“She always took a personal interest in each member of the club and often went beyond the bounds of club involvement to help on a personal level.

“Joan, as a volunteer member, worked tirelessly through the years, particularly behind the scenes and continued to do so right up to her 80th birthday until midway through last year despite not being entirely in the best of health.”

Mr Redstone praised Mrs Barratt’s “hard work, loyalty and dedication”.

Those qualities were officially recognised in February 2007, when she was awarded the 2006 Welwyn Hatfield Borough Sports Award for ‘Contribution to Disability Sport, which coincided with the club’s 40th anniversary.

Mr Redstone and wife Ann added: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to her disabled husband Albert, our club president, and to the family at this sad time.”

The funeral will be held tomorrow (Thursday) at noon at St Michael’s Church, Hatfield.

It will be followed by a cremation at 1.40pm, at West Herts Crematorium, in Garston, High Elms Lane, in Watford.

Flowers are welcome and enquiries should be made to JJ Burgess & Sons on 01707 262122.

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