Paddington waves goodbye | Action Medical Research

Paddington waves goodbye

9 March 2015

Paddington waves goodbye to ‘The Voice – and Face’ of Horsham’s children’s charity

They say that first impressions count and that certainly applies in an extremely positive way to Horsham born Sue Tarrant, who has been the smiling face, welcoming visitors to Action Medical Research and the calm, caring voice answering their telephone calls, for over 42 years!  On 6 March 2015, Paddington, the Horsham charity’s mascot, bid her a sad farewell. Sue has also been responsible for helping to coordinate when Paddington appears and helps out at many Action fundraising events over the years so she knows him well too.

Sue has seen a lot of change over the years since she joined the charity (and founder Duncan Guthrie was still active) and she has had a number of responsibilities including sorting the post, typing, co-ordinating the collection boxes, inputting the payroll and writing thank you letters to donors. She has seen many people come and go (including a ‘tea lady’ – of whom Paddington was particularly fond) and up until now has been the longest-serving staff member. Sue has also seen the charity fund some amazing medical breakthroughs, which since its’ inception, have included the introduction of the first polio vaccines in the UK, helping develop the use of ultrasound in pregnancy, testing the early rubella vaccine and discovering the importance of taking folic acid before and during pregnancy to prevent spina bifida. The current focus is on tackling premature birth and treating sick babies as well as helping children affected by disability and targeting rare diseases.

Asked why she she’s stayed for so long Sue says, “It’s interesting and rewarding and you can see what a difference the charity is making”. Sue also describes working for Action as “like being part of one big family”. On being asked what she’ll miss the most she says, “The interaction between staff members and supporters, and the cake in the kitchen!” On a more serious note she’s been able to recognise many regular callers by their voices and has enjoyed a wonderful rapport with others that is rather unique. Only last week she listened patiently to a lady describe her high blood pressure (the telephone number is similar to that of a local Doctors Surgery) but had probably lowered these symptoms by the end of the call as she won-over a new supporter!  

Sue was presented with a limited edition Paddington Bear print, National Trust membership and other gifts by Finance Director Martin Richardson and everyone bade her a fond farewell. This time we look forward to welcoming her when she pops back to say ‘Hello’ and hearing her voice on the telephone when she calls.

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For photographs of Sue and Paddington please download thes high res links:-

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Jules Robinson, Interim Press and PR Officer T: 01403 327480

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Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity working to save and change children’s lives through medical research. We believe that the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children can be beaten. We have been funding medical breakthroughs since we began in 1952 like the first polio vaccines in the UK, ultrasound in pregnancy and the rubella vaccine – helping to save thousands of children’s lives and change many more.

Just one breakthrough, however small, can mean the world.

Charity reg.nos 208701 and SC039284.


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