Tribute paid to inspirational Sheffield mum and charity founder

Sandra Howard
Sandra Howard

An inspirational mum that was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer a year ago, has died.

Sandra Howard spent the last months of her life urging people to donate to the epilepsy charity she founded, to ensure money continued to be collected as she battled the disease.

Sheffield-born Sandra, aged 63, helped to raise £3.8million since 1995 for those living with epilepsy through her charity Fable. This followed one of her son’s, Gareth, being diagnosed with the condition which deteriorated over time so by the age of 15 he was having between 15 and 20 seizures most days.

Over the years, Sandra has been fortunate enough to be honoured for her charity work. She was the first recipient of the Pride of Britain “fundraiser of the year” award in 1995, where she met Barbara Windsor who agreed to become one of Fable’s patrons.

In 2005, she was one of 100 people in the South Yorkshire area to be awarded a commemorative medal in acknowledgement of outstanding achievement by the University of Sheffield, followed in 2006 by the Order of the League of Mercy. And the awards kept coming.

In 2007 Sandra was nominated for The Sheffield Lord Mayor’s “Women of Inspiration” Awards in the health category and the following year Sheffield’s Night of Honour presented her with a ‘Lifetime achievement’ award.

Close friend Sarah Osborne Green, who also worked for Fable for 18 years and will build on Sandra’s legacy, said: “She was so loving and caring, very selfless, she would do anything for anybody. She suffered terribly in the last 12 months but she never complained, she took it on the chin.”

A celebration of Sandra’s life takes place at Grenoside Crematorium in the North Chapel on Thursday November 30, at 3.30pm.