Sea cadets mourning the loss of their inspirational leader are determined to make her dying wish come true.
Birmingham-born Angela Dolan, the chairman of Tamworth & Lichfield Sea Cadets, died last month only four weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
The 41-year-old, who was mother to 17-year-old James and married to husband Joe, passed away on the night of an early Christmas party arranged by the cadets when the extent of her illness became clear.
But the unit aims to pay a lasting tribute to her by extending its base at West Street, Kettlebrook, Tamworth, and calling it the Angela Dolan building.
Never without a sense of humour, the mum-of-one vowed to “haunt” the group’s Lieutenant Commander, Scott Bradbury, unless he made her dream come true.
Now the unit is urging business leaders to help fund the extension.
Mr Bradbury, of Tamworth, said: “Angela was a lovely person, a very strong character and so full of enthusiasm.
“Everybody warmed to her and nobody had a bad word to say about her.
“The day before she died, Angela said to me ‘I’m so honoured and privileged to know you and everyone at the cadets. I want you to promise me that you will get me my brick building.’
“She went on to say ‘promise me you will do it’ and joked ‘if you don’t you know I will haunt you.’ It goes without saying, I promised.”
He added: “I know times are hard for everyone and it’s Christmas, but we would like to appeal to businesses to help us achieve her dream in any way they can, for example maybe a building firm could donate some labour time to the project.
“We want to see Angela’s wish come true and are working to get things moving.
“We are always striving to improve what we can offer to the community and are looking for support where we can.”
Birmingham-born Angela was so well thought of that after doctors revealed the cancer was terminal, the cadets arranged an early Christmas party for her in November with fake snow, Christmas decorations and festive food.
But sadly she was too ill to attend and died the same night of the party at home with her son and husband beside her More than 450 people attended her funeral.
The Tamworth & Lichfield branch is regarded as one of the best units in the UK.
It is already a centre of excellence, which is used by police and the fire service for training purposes, and the group will be applying for grants to help make Angela’s dying wish come to fruition.
Anyone who can help should call Mr Bradbury on 07977 010 470.