Tributes to an ‘inspiration’

Marie Blackshaw of the Blackpool Citizen's Advice Bureau.
Marie Blackshaw of the Blackpool Citizen's Advice Bureau.
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A “strong and compassionate” manager at a Blackpool advice service has died following a long battle with cancer.

Marie Blackshaw, 53, had been with the Citizens Advice Bureau, on Whitegate Drive, since 2001 when she arrived as the centre’s manager.

During her 12 years at the CAB, Mrs Blackshaw saw the annual income of the branch rise from £200,000 in 2001 to £700,000 in 2012.

Julia Hannaford, an advice services manager at the Blackpool branch, paid tribute to her former colleague.

She said: “I will remember Marie as someone who taught me to go out there and not be scared of speaking to people.

“I was always the one who wanted to hide under the table during presentations but she taught me to get on with things and be confident in my own ability.

“She was an inspiration to those who knew and loved her and our thoughts are with her family.”

Mrs Blackshaw died last week of duodenal cancer which affects the small intestine.

Mrs Hannaford added: “She was an eloquent speaker whose sharp mind could react quickly and she was unafraid to challenge where she felt it was needed.

“She was a strong and compassionate leader always happy to share her expertise and had a sense of fun and humour that endeared her to all.”

Mrs Blackshaw, of central Blackpool, is survived by her husband Chris and sisters Kay and Jackie, and brothers Peter and Roland.

She was also ‘Nanny Blackpool’ to her husband’s grandchildren Eadee, Leala, Lorren and Lillie.

Jill Kerr, a friend and work colleague of Mrs Blackshaw, added: “She did everything she possibly could when she was ill and it didn’t get her down.

“She was a fair boss and even though we were friends she didn’t treat anyone differently.

“Marie always kept battling through and never had time off.

“She might have had the odd day to get herself right then she would come in.”

A funeral service will take place at Park Crematorium, Lytham tomorrow at 1.30pm.

The family has requested that anyone attending wears black with a splash of colour.

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