Tributes to booking clerk who “brightened our days”

Suffolk GP Federation has paid tribute to a member of staff who died unexpectedly from a heart attack just two months after joining the organisation to help with its COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Mother-of-three Rachail Pollard, who was aged 56, died at home in Framlingham on Sunday 21 March after completing a shift as a booking clerk at the Federation’s COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service.

Paying tribute to her, Milly Pilbro, the service’s manager, said that Mrs Pollard had “brightened our days.”

She continued: “We were privileged to have Rachail work with us and she was of great support to many patients as well as her colleagues during these difficult times.

“Her commitment to working to make a difference was tireless. Rachail showed patience and empathy alongside a good sense of humour, and is greatly missed by us all.”

Mrs Pilbro said Mrs Pollard had joined the booking service, which is based in the Fed’s offices in Walton, Felixstowe, on 19 January, just eight days it went live. Her role had involved booking patients in for COVID-19 vaccination.

Mrs Pollard had been on furlough from her full-time job as manager of the St Elizabeth Hospice charity shop on Market Hill, Framlingham.

In that role, which she held for seven years, she met Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran, who has donated hundreds of items to sell, both in the shop and in online auctions.

Mrs Pollard also met fans who visited the shop from all over the world, including from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.

Hannah Bloom, Director of Income Generation at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Rachail has left a huge gap in the hospice team and especially in the charity shop in Framlingham. 

“The staff and volunteers will miss her greatly as she was such a big personality and knew almost everyone in the town. 

“As well as working for the hospice, Rachail also raised money and promoted our work whenever she could and she was an amazing ambassador for the organisation. Our thoughts are with Rachail’s family at this difficult time.”

Mrs Pollard’s daughter, Rosie Pollard, 27, said: “She was an extremely caring person who always put others first and wanted to make people happy.

“She really enjoyed her job at the hospice shop, which gave her a purpose in life, and I know that the volunteers she worked with are devastated by her loss.”

Miss Pollard has twin brothers, Tom and Will, 31. Mrs Pollard was divorced from her husband Julian, who died three years ago.

Born and brought up in Sussex, she and her husband settled in Suffolk 28 years ago after he left the army. As well as being a mother, she had also worked as the headmaster’s secretary at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, and for a trampoline business owned by her husband.

A small private funeral will take place on 30 April and a larger memorial service will be held at St Michael’s, the parish church for Framlingham, once COVID restrictions have been lifted.

* Mrs Pollard’s family is asking for donations to be made to St Elizabeth Hospice, which is based in Ipswich, in lieu of flowers. Donations can be made via