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Mark Hunter thanks community for messages of condolence

October 9, 2013 9:42 AM

I'd like to take this opportunity to say that my family and I have been overwhelmed by the messages of condolence received from friends and colleagues in the local community following the sad passing of my dear wife, Lesley. The messages I have received from across Stockport, and across party divides, amply demonstrate the abundance of kindness and mutual support in our community and I have been helped immensely by them.

Much as I would like to, it would simply not be practical to write to everyone individually so I hope you will forgive me for taking the opportunity of this column, just on this occasion, for a personal note of thanks for your support at this most difficult time.

So many people have written with comforting thoughts, memories and appreciations, and we would like to thank you all for your good wishes and sympathy. Lesley was a dearly loved wife and mother, and she will be most sadly missed by us all. It has been a great comfort to the family to hear from so many people whose lives she had touched in so many different ways and we are grateful to you all for being in touch.

I would particularly like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful NHS staff at Stepping Hill and Wythenshawe where Lesley was cared for as she battled her illness and also the team at St Ann's Hospice where Lesley spent her final days. Personal experience makes me appreciate even more deeply the challenges those who work there face every day with amazing sensitivity, competence and kindness. We will always be grateful for the care and compassion shown to us by all these dedicated professionals.

On behalf of our children, Frankie and Rob, and myself, I offer our sincere thanks.

I am writing these words on my first day back at work in the constituency office and I know the future will be hard without my wife at my side. However, with the love and support of friends and family I know we will get through it, just as so many others have to do. I know also that I am fortunate to have a unique opportunity as MP to work with and help others in the community with their issues and that will spur me on.