TRIBUTES have been paid to much-loved Dudley hospital fundraising queen Gwen Timmins who has passed away.

Gwen, from Kingswinford, died at Russells Hall Hospital on October 12 after a battle with cancer.

The 78-year-old grandmother-of-eight had dedicated 50 years to raising charity funds for the hospital and was awarded the MBE in 2007.

She raised more than £100,000 for the pain relief unit at Russells Hall where she was a patient.

For more than a decade she ran a weekly gift and tombola stall in the hospital foyer to help raise money to give something back to the unit where she was being treated for arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Stourbridge News: Gwen Timmins with Tony Smith raising funds at Russells Hall HospitalGwen Timmins with Tony Smith raising funds at Russells Hall Hospital

Prior to that she and fellow patients ran a charity stall at the old Corbett Hospital in Stourbridge before pain relief services transferred to Dudley.

Eventually she called it a day in 2017.

She told the News at the time that she felt immensely proud to have raised so much for the hospital trust and she'd have happily done it all again.

After Prince Charles presented her with the MBE for her charity fundraising, she said it had been "nice to be recognised" and "good to know we are appreciated".

Stourbridge News: Gwen Timmins receiving her MBE from Prince CharlesGwen Timmins receiving her MBE from Prince Charles

Daughter Sharon Jones said her mum was very proud to have received a Royal honour for her fundraising and "would make a point of saying to everyone - it's Gwen Timmins MBE".

She described her as a "fun-loving, social person who wanted to try and help everybody".

Diane Wake, chief executive at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, paid tribute to her and said: "We are saddened to hear of the death of Gwen Timmins, whose fabulous fundraising efforts over the years have greatly benefited patients being treated at Russells Hall Hospital.

"She will be fondly remembered by many of our staff and we send our sincere condolences to her family and friends."

Gwen, who lost her husband William nine years ago, was also a supporter of the campaign to save Dudley Hippodrome and she organised a series of charity events such as quiz nights and entertainment evenings to help raise funds and the profile of the campaign.

Over the years she'd also raised funds for local GPs and Birmingham Children's Hospital - having caught the charity fundraising bug when she supported Wordsley's special care baby unit as a thank you for help provided to her son Martin.

Sharon said: "She used to do everything, she'd have stalls at Wordsley Carnival, stalls at the hospitals and she'd hold fetes at The Dell and she used to love her shows at the civic hall and Labour clubs."

Stourbridge News: Gwen Timmins at her fundraising retirement do with Sister Karen Simpson and Dr Victor GnanaduraiGwen Timmins at her fundraising retirement do with Sister Karen Simpson and Dr Victor Gnanadurai

As well as daughter Sharon and son Martin - Gwen leaves an elder daughter Julie, eight grandchildren, plus three sisters - Iris, Christine and Carol, brother-in-law Tony and adopted brother Ron. Her death has also left best friend Diane Hartill devastated.

A funeral service for Gwen will take place on Friday November 5 at Gornal Crematorium at 11.40am, followed by a wake at High Acres pub.

Donations will go to The Animal House Rescue as Gwen loved animals and to The Waterloo Road Club that she attended in Dudley where she enjoyed bingo and get togethers.