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A Community Hero honours for retired Lymington doctor

Post on 28th March 2024

A Lymington doctor who recently swam 90 lengths of a local swimming pool to mark her 90th year to raise funds for a local hospice she founded 32 years ago has had her extraordinary achievements recognised.

Mrs Jan Rimbault is the UK’s first recipient of our monthly Community Hero Award.

The branch on Lymington High Street didn’t hesitate to nominate Jan, who has been a customer for over 17 years, and presented her with a luxury afternoon tea hamper.

The Lymington branch manager Frances Ludwig said: “Jan is the most inspiring person and is still so full of life and energy. She has had a remarkable life as a doctor helping others and was the first medical director for Oakhaven Hospice from its launch in October 1990.

“The fact that she skydived to celebrate her 85th birthday, raising almost £5,000 for the hospice she founded and most recently £2,000 by completing her ‘90 for 90’ swimming challenge says everything you need to know about her.

“We’re delighted that we can give Jan a well earned treat and say thank you for everything she has accomplished and continues to do for the Lymington community and the hospice.”

Jan – who has lived in Lymington for over 40 years – was married for 45 years and nursed her husband through dementia for the last three years of his life. She has a daughter and two grandchildren who live in Bournemouth. Before starting the hospice and taking on the role of medical director, Jan was a ship surgeon travelling all over the Mediterranean and beyond.

She added: “I was very surprised but delighted to be told about my award and look forward to tucking into my afternoon tea. I don’t feel like a hero – Oakhaven Hospice has helped hundreds of families cope with end of life care over the years, which gives me a great sense of pride and is one of the key drivers that keeps me going.

“I will continue to be involved and fundraise for as long as I am able.”

Further detail about Jan’s amazing life and its many twists and turns can be found in her autobiography ‘It’s Not Where You Start…’ which is available on Amazon under her professional name Jan Swallow.