The life of a much-loved wife, mother and founder of a cancer self-group is to be celebrated.

Jo O’Farrell died peacefully in her sleep on the Fortuneswell Ward of Dorset County Hospital on July 5. She was aged 68.

Jo’s husband, Vince, and daughters Elizabeth and Caitlin are organising a celebration of her life, which will take place at Bridport United Church next month. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Jo, who lived in Bridport, founded cancer self-help group The Living Tree and was well-known for her voluntary work, for which she was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

She was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009. Despite this, she set up The Living Tree three years later and continued to offer the Bridport community her help through many projects.

Jo assisted vulnerable people through the Pathways to Care scheme, which supports elderly and needy people in Bridport, and organised the town’s hugely-successful MusicAthon, raising funds for the Richard Ely Trust for Young Musicians and other beneficiaries. The music event marked its 10th anniversary earlier this year, when organisers paid tribute to Jo.

In November 2017, Jo was awarded the ‘Beacon of Hope’ award by the Lymphoma Association and received an MBE for her voluntary work in June.

It is hoped contributions will be made at the service by those who knew and worked closely with Jo in all aspects of her voluntary work, including Churches Together in Bridport, Good Books, Bridport Good Neighbours, Pathways to Care, Bridport Quakers, Bridport Musicathon, Macmillan Cancer Support and The Living Tree/Stepping Out.

Her work prior to moving to Bridport in 2001 included the National Childbirth Trust, disability support organisation Parentability, Churches Together in Crowthorne, Crowthorne Good Neighbours and Crowthorne Church. It is hoped contributions will also be made by members of these groups and organisations at the celebration.

Jo has been described as a ‘rare spirit who touched other people's lives’ by The Living Tree’s Jo Millar.

A celebration of her life will take place at Bridport United Church, East Street, at 3pm on Monday, October 8.

Donations can be made in Jo’s memory to the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, 21 Back Lane,

Cerne Abbas, Dorset, DT2 7JW.