Community leader dies

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 January 2012 | UPDATED: 14:09 13 January 2012

Gully Hayer and Ann Withers fought off a robber armed with a hammer.

Gully Hayer and Ann Withers fought off a robber armed with a hammer.

Archant

A POPULAR community leader who was well known in Worle has died.

Ann Withers suffered a heart attack at her Mead Vale home last week.

The 67-year-old, who worked tirelessly on community projects and ran the area’s local action team, has been described by those who knew her as ‘a real character’.

Ann, who was born in Birmingham, may be best remembered for her national fame after she used a broom to fight off a hammer-wielding robber in Hayer’s in the precinct back in 2008.

She was recognised for her bravery following the incident at the Premier Convenience Store where she worked since the early 1990s.

Ann moved to Mead Vale 16 years ago and helped organise numerous fund-raising events in the area, the most recent of which was a Christmas fair in the precinct.

Her son Darran said: “She was always there for us, with a positive outlook, always smiling.

“She didn’t have a bad word to say about anyone and pointed us in the right direction in life.

“My mother put everyone first and will be sadly missed.”

Ann, who lived behind the shop where she worked, got up at 5am every morning to help sort out the newspapers at Hayer’s.

Her boss Gully Hayer said: “Ann was a really nice person who was liked by so many people.”

Ann also leaves behind grandchildren Darran, Shayne and Nathan.

Her funeral dates will be advertised in Hayer’s in the precinct.

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