Tribute to New Forest Jan Allen and Neil Carden

Jan Allen and Neil Carden

Tributes to two inspirational Lymington people 

Jan AllenTributes to two very special local people who always put others first and brought joy to so many, both taken from their families far too soon: Jan Allen who died recently at Oakhaven Hospice after a short illness and Lymington Triathlon club captain Neil Carden who died last autumn following a devastating cycling accident. His team is now fundraising in his memory.

Jan Allen was a charity stalwart who devoted her time to helping those less fortunate in both a professional and volunteer capacity. Always concerned for the less fortunate, in particular those with physical disabilities, she spent 15 years as chair of the board of the New Forest Disability Information Service based in New Milton. She also spent time in charge of care teams at University Hospital Southampton. Once she was retired, she dedicated her time to various charitable causes, including the Santa Dash for Oakhaven and many events on behalf of the Lymington Community Centre. She firmly believed that the community centre was an asset for everyone in Lymington, and she regularly volunteered for theatre duty and fundraising. She also volunteered regularly for the parkrun in Woodside.

She leaves behind husband Peter and sons James and Matthew who said:

"A dedicated mother of two, devoted wife to her husband, pillar of strength to those needing her charitable endeavours. Always the competitor in sailing, cycling and life, she would never let herself be beaten. She knew how to party, never letting the champagne get warm or the dance floor get cold. While she may be gone, her legacy continues and her kindness reverberates around the Forest and Solent with those she helped."

Meanwhile Lymington Triathlon club is paying tribute to former club captain Neil Carden who died last autumn following a devastating cycling accident, by taking part in Southampton General Hospital's Race for a Million challenge to raise money for new facilities at the intensive care unit.

Neil leaves behind his wife Clare and children Bethan and Chris, who in the aftermath of his death, asked friends to donate towards the refurbishment of the hospital’s neuro ICU family waiting room. The donations totalled more than £6,000. Now members of Lymington Triathlon Club have pledged to continue raising money in Neil’s memory.

Bethan, Neil, Clare and Chris Carden Lymington Triathlon Club chair, Antonia Cox, said: “Neil had been a member of our club since 2016, and we have been absolutely devastated by his loss. We cannot believe he is no longer here to bound along at the front of our running group, or to share that all important coffee and chat on a bike ride. After his death, we held a torchlit walk and run on the salt marshes, which had a huge turnout. We knew we wanted to do more to remember him, so some of the club have signed up to Southampton Hospitals Charity Race for a Million virtual triathlon. Neil was a true team player and always joined in with gusto with everything the club did, and we know he would have loved to be a part of this.”

"As his wife Clare said when he died, 'Keep putting on your running shoes, getting on your bike and swimming every day that you can. Don’t waste a moment'.

To donate in Jan or Neil's memory:

Condolences and donations in aid of cancer charity Maggie's and Oakhaven can be made online at www.janet-marion-allen.muchloved.com/

To support Lymington Triathlon Club, visit www.justgiving.com/team/ltcmillion. There is also still time to sign up to the Race for a Million virtual triathlon, which can be completed any time in May. It gives participants three options, ranging from a 150m swim, 2km cycle or 1.2k run up to a 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run. To find out more, visit www.raceforamillion.co.uk

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