Gill Dorer obituary

My mother, Gill Dorer, who has died aged 78, was, among many things, director of services at Arthritis Care, a member of the General Medical Council (GMC), a director of the charity Relate and a magistrate.

She sat on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s (CSP) fitness to practise panels, and on many employment tribunals.

Born in Southgate, north London, Gill was the younger child of Vera (nee Powell), a secretary, and Archie Fielder, the owner of a textile business. The family moved to Finchley, and Gill went to the North London collegiate school in Hampstead Garden Suburb. On leaving school, she worked in the personnel department of Shell.

Gill met Brian Dorer, an IT manager, in London in the early 1960s. They married in 1965 and, shortly after, moved to St Albans in Hertfordshire. They had two girls and in 1975 the family moved to Wheathampstead. Gill went back to work in 1981, managing the St Albans branch of Relate, the beginning of a long association with the charity. Gill and Brian divorced in 1987. In the mid-1990s Gill was promoted to become Relate’s director for the east of England.

Then, around 2000, Gill took on the role of director of services at Arthritis Care, a charity that represented a condition she was very familiar with. She managed the three hotels run by the charity – she loved visiting them and getting fully accessible rooms.

In the course of this role, her own experience with medications was recognised, and she developed a long and productive research relationship with Leeds and Bradford Universities. My mother ended up with four journal publications to her name – a source of huge pride as she had not gone to university. Her colleagues said that she made a difference in how researchers, policymakers and professionals regarded patients, and their views.

Gill also spent may years serving as a magistrate – both in St Albans and in Littlehampton, West Sussex, to which she moved in 2006. She had a compassionate approach to social justice and always tried to come to the right judgment for all, especially when sitting in the family court.

Over the last 10 or so years, her health and mobility changed greatly, and while this brought her many challenges, she was still able to hold on to things that gave her pleasure.

She joined the U3A – the University of the Third Age – and, after trying a few different groups, settled on current affairs, where she made a number of new friendships. The group remembers her joy in researching topics for discussion, never shying away from more controversial ones.

Gill is survived by her children, Claire and me, her older brother, Colin, and two grandsons, Bill and Henry.